June 30, 2022

SUPREME COURT STRIKES DOWN EPA CLEAN AIR RULES, holds that agency rules that address “major questions” must have clear authorization from Congress. The decision, sadly, is less sweeping than it might have been, but still moderately good news for restraining administrative agencies. Here’s the link.

Gorsuch has a nice concurrence spelling out the democracy-threatening aspects of administrative law, which includes this footnote throwing shade at the father of Administrative Law, Woodrow Wilson:

For example, Woodrow Wilson famously argued that “popular sovereignty” “embarrasse[d]” the Nation because it made it harder to achieve “executive expertness.” The Study of Administration, 2 Pol. Sci. Q. 197, 207 (1887) (Administration). In Wilson’s eyes, the mass of the people were “selfish, ignorant, timid, stubborn, or foolish.” Id., at 208. He expressed even greater disdain for particular groups, defending “[t]he white men of the South” for “rid[ding] themselves, by fair means or foul, of the intolerable burden of governments sustained by the votes of ignorant [African-Americans].” 9 W. Wilson, History of the American People 58 (1918). He likewise denounced immigrants “from the south of Italy and men of the meaner sort out of Hungary and Poland,” who possessed “neither skill nor energy nor any initiative of quick intelligence.” 5 id., at 212. To Wilson, our Republic “tr[ied] to do too much by vote.” Administration 214.

All true. Wilson was a racist, an elitist, and an entitled twit with a wildly exaggerated opinion of his own intellect and competence.. In short, the perfect progenitor for modern progressivism.

Also, a nice cite for Phil Hamburger’s excellent book Is Administrative Law Unlawful? (Spoiler: Yes.)

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.