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House of Representatives Votes to Overturn Supreme Court Ruling on Regulatory Power

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In a recent development on Capitol Hill, the House of Representatives voted to overturn a longstanding Supreme Court ruling that has shaped the balance of power between the branches of government.

The ruling in question, Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. (1984), has come under scrutiny from Republicans who argue that it has given the executive branch excessive control over imposing regulations that impose significant costs on the American public.

The House approved the Separation of Powers Restoration Act (SOPRA) in a largely party-line vote of 220-211. This move reflects the ongoing debate surrounding the Chevron precedent, which directs courts to defer to federal agencies’ interpretations of laws passed by Congress when crafting regulations.

Republicans contend that this deference has allowed the executive branch to wield authority beyond the original intent of Congress, resulting in regulations that often contradict lawmakers’ objectives.

Highlighting the economic impact of these regulations, Republican Representative Scott Fitzgerald of Wisconsin stressed that the cumulative cost on American citizens now amounts to nearly $2 trillion annually, equivalent to about 8% of the nation’s GDP.

Fitzgerald argues that this trend is contrary to the intentions of the Founding Fathers, who envisioned a clear separation of powers among the branches of government, when he stated, “Since 1984, when the Supreme Court ruled that courts must defer to an agency’s interpretation of an ambiguous statute rather than what Congress intended, the executive branch has begun usurping the legislative branch to issue regulations with the force of law… It is certainly not what our founders intended.”

Echoing this sentiment, Representative Thomas McClintock of California emphasized that the Constitution grants Congress the power to legislate while assigning the executive branch the task of implementing those laws. McClintock pointed out that the Chevron ruling disrupts this balance, resulting in an executive branch that both enforces and shapes regulations.

Democrats, however, voiced concerns about the potential consequences of overturning Chevron. They argued that such a move would burden the courts with an overwhelming workload, as they would be required to extensively interpret federal law in the absence of deference to agency expertise.

Representative Jerry Nadler of New York, the leading Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, warned that the proposed legislation would upend the administrative process, necessitating federal courts to review all agency rulemakings and statutory interpretations from scratch.

According to reports from Fox News, Nadler said that the bill would, “completely upend the administrative process by eliminating judicial deference to agencies and require federal courts to review all agency rule-makings and interpretations of statute on a de novo basis.”

While the House’s decision marks an important step for Republicans, the bill’s prospects in the Democrat-controlled Senate remain uncertain. Additionally, President Biden has signaled his intent to veto the legislation.

Nonetheless, the issue could potentially find its way back to the Supreme Court, as the Court is expected to hear a case involving New Jersey fishermen and federal regulations. The outcome of this case may influence the fate of Chevron, as the Supreme Court has the authority to overturn its own precedent.

As the nation grapples with questions of regulatory power and the balance between branches of government, the clash of interpretations surrounding the Chevron ruling serves as a microcosm of broader debates about governance and the separation of powers.

The ongoing discourse sheds light on the complex dynamics between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, and underscores the challenges inherent in crafting and implementing effective regulations in a democratic society.

Follow Alexander Carter on Twitter @AlexCarterDC for more!

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EXCLUSIVE: Former Trump appointee explains an ‘America First Strategy’ in the ME

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Photo: Israeli Government

The author interviewed Ellie Cohanim, one of the authors of the new book: “An America First Approach to US National Security.” Ellie is the former U.S. Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism under the Trump administration. She is currently a Senior Fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum focusing on Iran, Israel, and global antisemitism, and is a national security contributor for the Christian Broadcasting Network. In 2021, Ellie launched and hosted for Jewish News Syndicate 30 plus episodes of the show “Global Perspectives with Ellie Cohanim.” Ellie spent 15 years in media and NGO management before serving in the public sector. How would you define an “America First” strategy in the Middle East?

Cohanim: An America First strategy in the Middle East would seek to advance American national security interests in that region, while maintaining our status as THE global superpower. To do that, the US would ensure that our principal allies in the region, countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel, are economically and militarily strong, and that our adversaries in the region are deterred.

Postal: How has the United States’ standing in the Middle East differed between the Trump and Biden administrations?

Cohanim: Under President Trump, for four years we had peace, stability and prosperity in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. Under President Biden, in just three tumultuous years there has been war in the region, which holds the potential for becoming a regional conflict and even a nuclear confrontation. Meanwhile, the US’ status in the region and the world has diminished due to Biden’s disastrous mishandling of the Afghanistan withdrawal, his emboldening of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and his weak response to Iranian attacks on our personnel and assets in the region. 

 

Postal: Do you think the United States and Israel are/were in a stronger position to deter Iran’s nuclear and territorial ambitions in Biden or Trump’s administration?

Cohanim: America’s position of strength has not changed under either administration vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic of Iran. What has changed is our Iran policy. Under President Trump’s administration, the US contained and constrained Tehran. Trump applied a “Maximum Pressure” sanctions campaign which left the Iranian Regime with only $4 billion in accessible foreign currency reserves by the end of his term, giving the Iranians less cash and less ability to fund their terror proxies and their nuclear program, and Trump eliminated Qassem Soleimani. While all President Biden needed to do was to continue implementing such successful policies, his administration instead did the exact opposite.  Under the Biden administration, Israel, our leading ally in the region, was attacked for the first time directly from Iranian soil. This was an unprecedented escalatory attack by the Iranian regime, and could only happen under the Biden administration.

Postal: In your chapter of the book, you discuss the weakening of US relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia under the Biden administration. How has the Biden administration affected the likelihood of future normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and deals between Israel and other Muslim countries (i.e., new Abraham Accords)?

Cohanim: The good news is that the Abraham Accords have withstood the test of multiple Hamas provocations against Israel, and now the current war. Despite numerous claims from the Biden administration regarding “successful” efforts to normalize ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel, I do not think that the Biden administration will be able to clinch such a deal. In the Middle East, people have a long memory. Saudi Arabia’s de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has not forgotten President Biden’s snub when he first came into office, and Biden’s incredibly poorly advised behavior towards the Crown Prince when he made his first visit to the Kingdom as president. The last thing the Crown Prince wants is to hand Biden his first foreign policy success with a Rose Garden peace deal ceremony. So, I do not believe President Biden can broker Saudi/Israeli normalization.

However, I am also convinced that it is a matter of “when” and not “if” such a peace deal will happen between those two countries, as it serves both of their interests to make such a deal. The Saudis understand better than anyone that it is the Islamic Republic of Iran that threatens the Kingdom’s security and stability, not Israel.

Postal: What do you think of the Biden administration’s latest statements withholding arms to Israel?

Cohanim: President Biden will go down in history for his abject moral failure in not standing by Israel while she fights a five-front war. Biden has shown his despicable personality for trying to keep his anti-Israel arms embargo concealed until he could first deliver a speech on the Holocaust. Biden’s behavior is despicable on so many levels.

Ultimately, Biden is betraying the American people. He came into office presenting himself as a “centrist Democrat,” but has proven repeatedly to be beholden to the radical, extremist, pro-Hamas wing of his party.

Postal: How does the Biden administration’s support of a Palestinian state differ from the Trump administration’s support of a Palestinian state under its Peace to Prosperity framework?

Cohanim: The Biden administration stated that they will “unilaterally recognize” a Palestinian state. What the borders of that state are and who would lead it, nobody knows. 

The Trump administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” was a detailed plan that was premised on the realities on the ground in Israel. The plan required that the Palestinians reach benchmarks proving a real desire to live in peace with their Israeli neighbors. It included over $50 billion in investment in the region, which would have been a road to prosperity for all. Perhaps most significantly, the Palestinian state envisioned under the Trump plan would have been demilitarized, the wisdom of which could not be more clear following the October 7 massacre and attack.

The author would like to thank Ellie Cohanim for participating in this interview.

 

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