CAMAS, WA – On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in the case Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo. This ruling has the potential to strike a major blow to the scope and authority of federal agencies, which would be a win for Americans whose lives are increasingly regulated by the bureaucratic state.
Leslie Lewallen, former prosecutor and candidate for Congress, who has been advocating for two decades to rein in the reach of the federal government, issued the following statement regarding yesterday’s oral arguments:
“Americans across the country are being held back by burdensome regulations and bureaucratic red tape from the federal government that is coming out of their bottom line! Overturning the Supreme Court’s 1984 ruling in Chevron is the victory that every American needs when it comes to stopping big government. When I get to Congress, it will be my top priority to cut the size of our federal agencies and return out country to a more limited form of government. The Chevron doctrine has effectively led to a fourth branch of government: the administrative branch. However, the members of this branch, unlike the ones established by our Founding Fathers, are not elected by the people, receive very little oversight, and have contributed to a rapid expansion of Executive power beyond what our Constitution envisioned. These agencies have used their power to make the border worse, undermine our police officers, slow down our economy, and dumb down our education system. In fact, Chief Justice Roberts, in his 2013 dissent in City of Arlington v. FCC, wrote ‘. . . the danger posed by the growing power of the administrative state cannot be dismissed.’ Indeed, it cannot. Should the Supreme Court choose not to reverse this terrible precedent, then when I get to Congress, I will do everything in my authority to curb the power of these unelected bureaucrats in Washington D.C..”
At the heart of Loper is a precedent set in 1984 by the Supreme Court in the case Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. In its ruling, the Court held that, while government agencies must adhere to clear legislative directions from Congress, when Congress has not expressly spoken to a specific question, it is within the agency’s power to act “based on a permissible construction of the statute,” and that deference should be afforded to those agencies’ translation of the law.
In the forty years since the Chevron doctrine entered the judicial lexicon, the United States has seen an exponential growth in the number of federal agencies supporting the Executive Branch. Accompanying that growth is an ever-increasing number of federal regulations that, thanks to Chevron, receive the same treatment as laws passed by Congress. In fact, according to Forbes, in 2023, President Biden’s agencies implemented 3,018 new rules. Meanwhile, Congress only passed 27 bills that became law last year. Federal agencies pass more rules that govern American’s day-to-day lives than Congress.
At issue in Loper, is one such rule that requires private fishing companies to pay the salaries of federally mandated observers who are required to accompany the vessels out to sea in an effort to prevent overfishing. Congress never authorized the agency in question to levy fees against the fishing companies, the total amount of which approaches 20% of their revenues. The Court is being asked to either overturn Chevron or “clarify that statutory silence concerning controversial powers expressly but narrowly granted elsewhere in the statute does not constitute an ambiguity requiring deference to the agency.”
Lewallen has been a strong advocate for limited government both as a prosecutor and on the Camas City Council; and she will continue to hold Democrats accountable for their expansion of federal power when she goes to D.C. as the Representative for WA-03.
To learn more about Leslie, click here.