Not since the New Deal era has the scope and reach of the modern administrative state received so much public attention. It is thus unsurprising that the first Supreme Court case mentioned by Senator Diane Feinstein on the first day of Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings did not involve familiar hot-button issues like gun control, abortion, or campaign finance. That case was Chevron USA, Inc. v. National Resources Defense Council, Inc., a 1984 decision associated with a doctrine that requires judges to defer to federal agencies’ interpretations of statutes that they are charged with administering. [Read More]
Of the many cases affected by the untimely passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, no case had more far-reaching First Amendment potential than Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. One of the most anticipated cases during the October 2015 term, the case required the Court to determine whether it would accede to public school teachers’ request and overrule Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. Abood arose as a sort of First Amendment aberration in 1977, holding that public employees could be forced to pay unions compulsory agency fees as a condition of employment. [Read More]
Most discussions about the Supreme Court’s 8-0 decision in Samsung Electronics, Ltd. v. Apple Inc. have focused and will continue to focus on the decision’s implications for patent law and innovation. The decision also highlights the impact that Justice Scalia has had on the Supreme Court specifically and on legal thinking more generally. Indeed, although the decision in the case does not mention Justice Scalia, its analysis is, in many ways, a tribute to him. [Read More]
This past Tuesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit—in arguably its most significant opinion of the year—held that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)’s structure is unconstitutional. In an opinion by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the court held that the CFPB’s status as an independent agency headed by a single director who is removable only for cause violated Article II of the Constitution. Christian Corrigan previously blogged on this case and explained how Judge Kavanaugh’s opinion protects individual liberty.
Beyond the legal arguments, Judge Kavanaugh’s opinion is interesting because of its reliance on Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in Morrison v. Olson. In Morrison, the Court upheld the constitutionality of the Independent Counsel Act, which allows a special court to appoint an independent counsel to investigate government officials’ impropriety. [Read More]