WASHINGTON, D.C. Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC) secured major amicus victories in empowering the American public, not unelected bureaucrats, this term. IWLC celebrates the Court’s recent decision in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, striking down the framework of Chevron deference, which gave unconstitutional regard to unelected agency interpretations of law at the expense of American liberties. 

While Congress passes fewer than 200 statutes every year, executive agencies promulgate thousands of regulations in the same time period, as well as issue “guidance” on thousands more topics that often have the effect of regulation. Much of American governance in recent decades has been conducted, not by our elected representatives in Congress, but through the unaccountable power of the administrative state, touching the lives of virtually all voters in some shape or form. 

In Loper Bright, the Supreme Court put necessary limits on the administrative state, restoring the judiciary’s role in interpreting statutes. The prior structure demanded that courts defer to agency interpretations of statutes, even where agencies are implausibly and self-interestedly interpreting the scope of their own powers. In the Loper Bright case, the agency overreach was particularly egregious, extending even to the claim that the Department of Commerce had the power to fund itself by reaching into the pockets of the fishing businesses they were tasked with regulating. 

“The unelected bureaucrats who run our sprawling federal agencies do not have the power to make their own laws,” said May Mailman, Director of IWLC. “Nor do they have the power to resolve ambiguities in the statutes Congress passes – that’s the job of courts – or, even worse, to invent new interpretations for once were clearly defined terms, like the definition of sex. This decision sets us on the path to restoring Constitutional limitations on the out-of-control powers of the administrative state.” 

As IWLC wrote in its brief in Loper Bright: “Unbridled deference to the executive branch cannot be squared with the separation of powers demanded by the U.S. Constitution.” 

IWLC also filed an amicus brief in another case limiting agency power, SEC v. Jarkesy, which struck down similarly unconstitutional use of Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) and administrative courts to circumvent Americans’ basic rights like the right to be tried by a jury.

“These decisions are wins for both for Constitutional governance and for small businesses, 42 percent of which are owned by female entrepreneurs who will no longer be subject to capricious regulation by agencies operating beyond their statutory mandates,” Mailman said.

IWLC will continue its fight against dangerous, unchecked government power in the appellate courts, and looks forward to the day when Congress and the state legislatures hold the legislative power. 



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Independent Women’s Law Center advocates for equal opportunity, individual liberty, and respect for the American constitutional order.