Monday, February 26, 2024

All Chevron, No Rocker

     The Chevron case is looking to be the next former U. S. Supreme Court decision to feel the present Court's axe.  Woo-hoo, some folks are thrilled: it's the end of the regulatory state! 

     Maybe.  The general thrust and effect of Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council was to let the government's subject matter experts interpret the laws Congress passed and make regulations about those subjects on which they were experts.  The courts were generally expected to defer to their expertise, barring some grave injustice.  Pull 'em out, and what you've got left are the politicians in Congress (mostly lawyers) and sitting judges (all lawyers) interpreting the laws and regulations, and what the majority of them are experts in, other than Law and Schmoozing, is Golf, with a sideline in Press Conferences.  What they don't know about, say, the health effects of tetraethyl lead in gasoline would (and did) fill a jail.

     While leaded gasoline is unlikely to come back -- and my MGB didn't much mind the lack -- the end of Roe v. Wade may (or may not) have a similar effect.  Given that our present Congress can't even manage to keep the government funded for more than a few months at a time, even at the cost of failing to contain Russian aggression, I'm not entirely sure that they can be counted on to do any better a job regulating artificial intelligence, private space travel or food safety; I'd rather Congress addressed the big ideas and left the details to the people who think about that stuff all day long.

     The United States Supreme Court might not agree with me.  Pundits are saying they probably don't.  Then we'll run the experiment at full scale in the real world, and see how that works out.  What could go wrong?

     Ineptitude is not a virtue.

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