Bloomberg Tax
Feb. 25, 2020, 8:32 PM

Thomas Dissent Latest Sign in Battle Over Chevron Deference

Aysha Bagchi
Aysha Bagchi

Justice Clarence Thomas offered the latest signal of his appetite to rein in the power of federal agencies, criticizing a long-standing legal principle that federal agencies commonly rely on to defend their regulatory decisions.

Thomas’s lone dissent in Baldwin v. United States didn’t hold back in his criticism of the Chevron doctrine, which calls for courts to show deference to agencies if there is ambiguity about what Congress authorized and if the agency regulation reflects a reasonable interpretation. Thomas argued that the doctrine unconstitutionally transfers the judicial power to interpret laws over to federal agencies.

“Perhaps worst of all, Chevron ...

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