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Washington Monthly

On Regulation and Immigration, the Supreme Court Tried to Seem Reasonable

The last day of the Supreme Court term unfolded as if it were a performance orchestrated by Chief Justice John Roberts to rebut the view that the Court has become an outpost of right-wing extremism. In the first of his two opinions for the concluding day, West Virginia v. EPA, Roberts wrote for a 6–3 conservative majority that the EPA lacked authority to promulgate the Obama administration’s 2015 Clean Power Plan. But, contrary to the fears (or hopes) of many, his opinion neither discarded the doctrine called “Chevron deference” nor suggested that Congress lacked the constitutional authority to delegate broad regulatory powers to the EPA. In Biden v. Texas, he upheld the Biden administration’s discretion under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) not to return to Mexico non-Mexican nationals arriving in the United States from Mexico in order to await the results of their removal proceedings. In the latter case, Roberts wrote for himself, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and the three most liberal justices. (Justice Amy Coney Barrett, writing separately, said she agreed with Roberts’s statutory interpretation. She did not agree, however, that the Court had jurisdiction to decide the case at all.)
CONGRESS & COURTS
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