≡ Menu

Some Links

The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board describes yesterday as “a good day, make that a great day, for liberty and the Constitution at the Supreme Court.” Two slices:

In arguably the most significant decision of the year, a 6-3 majority (Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo) overturned the Court’s 40-year-old Chevron doctrine that told judges to defer to agency interpretations of vague laws as long as they are “reasonable.” Now regulators will have a harder time bending laws, and Congress will have to legislate more clearly. Imagine that.


Lacking a strong legal rebuttal, the three liberal Justices fret about “judicial hubris” and the Court turning “itself into the country’s administrative czar.” “The majority disdains restraint, and grasps for power,” Justice Elena Kaganwrites in dissent. “Judges are not experts in the field.”

But the progressive impulse to defer to the rule of experts is one reason Americans are so frustrated with government. Some judges may run off the rails, but then some do that now. The crucial constitutional point is that each branch of government stays in its proper lane.

Walter Olson reflects on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Fischer v. U.S. Here’s his conclusion:

When there is genuine uncertainty as to the meaning of a law, judges help safeguard liberty by applying a narrow reading to avoid criminalizing conduct not clearly marked out as such. That is what the court did today.

Also writing about Fischer v. U.S. – and Justice Jackson’s concurrence with the majority ruling – is Reason‘s Billy Binion. A slice:

That Justice Jackson sided with Fischer shouldn’t, in theory, come as a surprise. She is the only former public defender on the current Court; in the judiciary broadly, you are far more likely to find former prosecutors on the bench. So it stands to reason that she understands first-hand the downsides of government getting creative with criminal statutes, as prosecutors sometimes do.

Nevertheless, it probably is surprising to many onlookers, for at least a couple of reasons. First, the common narrative, it seems, is that this Supreme Court is more radical, extreme, and polarized than ever before. As I wrote earlier this week, that’s not at all reflected in the data: The early part of this term was defined by a historic number of unanimous decisions, and today’s 6–3 decision being composed of a heterogeneous group is actually quite common. It just rarely drives the news.

And then, on top of that, of course, there’s the fact that Joseph Fischer is a criminal defendant in one of the most politically-loaded cases of this century. But Jackson’s concurrence is a reminder that the application of criminal law should not be infected by personal animus toward any given defendant.

Christian Britschgi has some sound counsel for progressives.

David Henderson is understandably unimpressed with the letter sent by 16 Nobel-laureate economists in support of Joe Biden’s economics policies. A slice:

The “investments” they write about, which would more correctly be called “spending,” include the Inflation Reduction Act, which has nothing to do with inflation and everything to do with spending. Do they really believe that this huge increase in spending will reduce “long-term inflationary pressures?” What’s their basis for this? Do they think that the federal government spends money wisely? And if they do, why do they think that?

Arnold Kling offers practical advice on what should be the limited mission of Fannie and Freddie.

George Will reflects wisely on the Biden-Trump “debate.” Two slices:

Trump, who is never as jolly as Father Christmas, was as constantly cranky as usual. His fleeting moments of semisobriety perhaps only seemed to be such because they contrasted with his adversary’s struggles. Biden mostly resembled someone who has forgotten not where the car keys are but what they are for.

Perhaps the nation is by now in a torpor, resigned to the spectacle of, as the phrase goes, two bald men fighting over a comb. Perhaps, however, Thursday night — the campaign’s nadir (so far) — was for the best. The Democratic Party might yet give a thought to the national interest. Persisting with Biden’s candidacy, which is as sad as it is scary, rather than nominating a plausible four-year president, would rank as the most reckless — and cruel — act ever by a U.S. party.


Biden, who has at most a one-track mind, yet again insinuated that the political and judicial institutions of America’s democracy would crumble like papier-mâché constructs under the onslaught of a reelected Trump. But three days before Thursday’s debate, Biden was yet again found to have shredded a constitutional norm.

Two Obama-appointed federal judges on two courts said another of Biden’s student debt-forgiveness plans exceeds statutory authority. Since 2023, Biden has been giving Trump a tutorial on anti-constitutional grandiosity in the presidency: Ignoring the Constitution’s appropriations clause (Congress controls spending), Biden has tried to unilaterally shower $400 billion in loan forgiveness on the debt-owing minority of the minority of Americans who are college graduates.

Biden has bragged that the Supreme Court’s attempt to thwart his executive highhandedness “didn’t stop me.” Yet he will not stop pretending that his insouciant disregard of legality, unlike Trump’s, is virtuous.

Here’s Ryan Bourne on politics in today’s Britain.