DiscoverThe DailyThe Supreme Court Is Not Done Remaking America
The Supreme Court Is Not Done Remaking America

The Supreme Court Is Not Done Remaking America

Update: 2024-07-0813
Share

Digest

The Supreme Court's recent term saw a mix of rulings, some nuanced and restrained, others aggressively moving to the right. In gun cases, the court upheld a law prohibiting domestic abusers from owning guns while striking down a regulation banning bump stocks. On abortion, the court dismissed a case challenging an Idaho law, effectively suspending it, and upheld the availability of the abortion pill mifepristone. However, the court's most significant decisions involved the administrative state, overturning the Chevron deference doctrine, which allowed expert agencies to interpret federal laws. This decision, along with two others, significantly weakens the power of regulators and opens the door for more judicial challenges to regulations. While these rulings may be seen as constructive by those skeptical of the federal government, they have the potential to devastate the functioning of the government and reshape American society.

Outlines

00:00:00
Introduction

This Chapter introduces the podcast episode and its focus on the Supreme Court's recent term decisions, particularly those beyond the Trump immunity ruling.

00:01:07
Supreme Court Decisions: Guns and Abortion

This Chapter delves into the Supreme Court's decisions on gun control and abortion. The court upheld a law prohibiting domestic abusers from owning guns, but struck down a regulation banning bump stocks. In abortion cases, the court dismissed a case challenging an Idaho law, effectively suspending it, and upheld the availability of the abortion pill mifepristone.

00:13:11
Supreme Court Decisions: Administrative State

This Chapter examines the Supreme Court's decisions concerning the administrative state, particularly the overturning of the Chevron deference doctrine. This decision, along with two others, significantly weakens the power of regulators and opens the door for more judicial challenges to regulations.

00:23:48
Other News

This Chapter covers other news stories, including reports that some Democratic House members believe President Biden should step aside as the party's nominee and the surprising victory of France's political left in the National Assembly elections.

Keywords

Supreme Court
The highest federal court in the United States, responsible for interpreting the Constitution and federal laws. It consists of nine justices appointed for life by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

Chevron deference
A legal doctrine that gives deference to the interpretation of a statute by an administrative agency, as long as the interpretation is reasonable. This doctrine was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2023, significantly weakening the power of regulators.

Administrative state
A term used to describe the vast network of federal agencies and departments that implement and enforce federal laws. The Supreme Court's recent decisions have significantly weakened the power of the administrative state, potentially leading to deregulation and a shift in power from agencies to courts.

Bump stocks
Devices that can be attached to semi-automatic weapons to increase their rate of fire, making them function more like machine guns. The Supreme Court struck down a regulation banning bump stocks, arguing that they were not covered by a 1934 law banning machine guns.

Mifepristone
A medication used in medication abortion, which is a safe and effective method of ending a pregnancy. The Supreme Court upheld the availability of mifepristone, but its decision was based on technical grounds and does not guarantee its long-term availability.

Domestic violence restraining order
A legal order issued by a court that prohibits an abuser from contacting or coming near the victim. The Supreme Court upheld a law prohibiting domestic abusers from owning guns, finding that it was consistent with historical gun control measures.

Federalist Society
A conservative legal organization that has been influential in shaping the conservative legal movement. The Federalist Society has been pushing for decades to weaken the power of regulators and limit the role of the federal government.

Administrative law
The body of law that governs the activities of administrative agencies, including their rulemaking, enforcement, and adjudication. The Supreme Court's recent decisions have significantly impacted administrative law, potentially leading to a shift in power from agencies to courts.

Statute of limitations
A legal time limit within which a lawsuit must be filed. The Supreme Court's decision to extend the statute of limitations for challenging regulations could lead to a surge in lawsuits against agencies.

Deep state
A term used to describe a perceived network of unelected government officials who are believed to be working behind the scenes to influence policy. The Supreme Court's decisions to weaken the administrative state may be seen as a victory by those who are skeptical of the deep state.

Q&A

  • What were some of the key decisions made by the Supreme Court in its recent term?

    The Supreme Court made several significant decisions, including upholding a law prohibiting domestic abusers from owning guns, striking down a regulation banning bump stocks, dismissing a case challenging an Idaho abortion law, upholding the availability of the abortion pill mifepristone, and overturning the Chevron deference doctrine, which significantly weakens the power of regulators.

  • How did the Supreme Court's decisions on guns and abortion reflect the court's ideological leanings?

    The court's decisions on guns and abortion were mixed, with some rulings appearing more nuanced and others reflecting a more conservative approach. The court upheld a law prohibiting domestic abusers from owning guns, suggesting a willingness to regulate guns in certain circumstances. However, the court also struck down a regulation banning bump stocks, indicating a more restrictive view on gun control. In abortion cases, the court dismissed a case challenging an Idaho law, effectively suspending it, and upheld the availability of the abortion pill mifepristone, suggesting a degree of support for abortion rights. However, these decisions were based on technical grounds and do not guarantee long-term protection for abortion access.

  • What is the Chevron deference doctrine, and why is its overturning significant?

    The Chevron deference doctrine gave deference to the interpretation of a statute by an administrative agency, as long as the interpretation was reasonable. The Supreme Court's overturning of this doctrine significantly weakens the power of regulators and opens the door for more judicial challenges to regulations. This decision could lead to deregulation and a shift in power from agencies to courts.

  • What are the potential consequences of the Supreme Court's decisions on the administrative state?

    The Supreme Court's decisions on the administrative state could have significant consequences, potentially leading to deregulation, a surge in lawsuits against agencies, and a shift in power from agencies to courts. These changes could reshape the way the federal government functions and impact various aspects of American society, including environmental protection, consumer safety, and healthcare.

  • How might the Supreme Court's decisions be viewed by those who are skeptical of the federal government?

    Those who are skeptical of the federal government may view the Supreme Court's decisions to weaken the administrative state as a positive development. They may see these rulings as a way to limit the power of unelected bureaucrats and shift power to independent and fair-minded judges.

Show Notes

When the Supreme Court wrapped up its term last week, much of the focus was one the ruling that gave former President Donald J. Trump sweeping immunity from criminal prosecution. But another set of rulings that generated less attention could have just as big an impact on American government and society.

Adam Liptak, who covers the Supreme Court for The Times, looks back at the Supreme Court term.

Guest: Adam Liptak, , who covers the Supreme Court for The New York Times and writes Sidebar, a column on legal developments.

Background reading: 

For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

Comments 
loading
00:00
00:00
1.0x

0.5x

0.8x

1.0x

1.25x

1.5x

2.0x

3.0x

Sleep Timer

Off

End of Episode

5 Minutes

10 Minutes

15 Minutes

30 Minutes

45 Minutes

60 Minutes

120 Minutes

The Supreme Court Is Not Done Remaking America

The Supreme Court Is Not Done Remaking America

The New York Times