Gorsuch Lets Corporations Evade Regulations
Former Appeals Court Judge Neil Gorsuch, sworn in as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on Monday, April 10, brings with him a track record of dangerous bias in favor of corporations over workers, families and community.
The most extreme of Gorsuch’s decisions as an Appeals Court judge came out at his nomination hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. In the case, a long-haul truck driver was terminated by his employer because he left his vehicle after brakes on the trailer froze and promised roadside assistance did not arrive after three hours in bitter cold weather. The Court found for the employee but Gorsuch, in the minority, supported the employer’s argument and agreed the driver should have been terminated.
This outrageous vote is in keeping with Gorsuch’s expressed, deep beliefs that indicate his future leanings on regulatory matters. He has expressed doubts about the validity of the “Chevron doctrine,” which gives regulatory agencies broad latitude when interpreting laws and defers to the regulatory agency when the law is ambiguous. Gorsuch has called the Chevron doctrine a "Goliath of modern administrative law," and argued it may be time to face "the behemoth." The obvious question is then, if Goliath is the public’s ability to regulate, who is the David? To Gorsuch, it’s the corporations.
What is the impact? On the new, nine-justice Supreme Court with a moderately conservative tilt, challenges to Obama-era regulatory policies would at risk if Gorsuch’s wish gains traction and the Chevron doctrine is eroded. Two major policies at risk that ASBC is monitoring are the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the U.S. In both cases, ASBC has filed amicus briefs in support of the rules.
Follow ASBC’s high-stakes work in regulatory “reform” on our Regulatory Accountability Act campaign page to learn more.