Judge Gorsuch: Endanger Vital Protections

Gorsuch believes in out-of-the-mainstream legal theories that could endanger important protections for clean air, clean water, workers, and safe food and medicine that we all depend on each day. Even the late Justice Scalia himself rejected a recent attempt to reinvigorate one of these discredited theories.

Not Looking Out For Americans 

In United States v. Nichols, 784 F.3d 666 (10th Cir. 2015), Neil Gorsuch called to reinvigorate the Nondelegation Doctrine, last successfully used in 1935 by a famously reactionary, and short-lived, Supreme Court majority bent on invalidating New Deal laws.  This doctrine, called for by Gorsuch, goes against decades of Supreme Court precedent allowing agencies to set rules protecting the public, and would disable Congress—and the electorate—from making government work for the American people.  

Supported Far-Right, Discredited Legal Theories

In ​Caring Hearts Personal Home Services., Inc. v. Burwell, ​ 824 F.3d 968 (10th Cir. 2016),​ Neil Gorsuch argued against the longstanding Chevron Doctrine, a legal principle which allows the court to defer to federal agencies on how to carry out the law.  Overruling Chevron, which even Justice Scalia recognized as an extreme measure, would lead to a significant shift in power in which the courts could “decide for themselves which regulations will stand and which will go —and they will do so without much statutory guidance since Chevron is only an issue when the law is unclear.  In such a world, it would matter even more which party controls the Supreme Court.”

Protecting Businesses, Not You

The New York Times stated that, “eliminating the Chevron deference could put at risk a number of regulations used to pursue administrative enforcement actions if the agency’s view of the law is subject to constant questioning in the courts. Efforts to regulate businesses would be blunted if agencies were forced to bring only the easiest cases to avoid having their decisions second-guessed.”

In Favor of Gutting Key Health Protections

A recent letter to Senators from the Sierra Club’s Executive Director Michael Brune stated that Judge Gorsuch’s “stance against the well-established Chevron doctrine will prevent agencies like the United States Environmental Protection Agency from fulfilling their mission to protect our air, water, and health. This is a dangerous view that will favor polluters and industry over the rights of the people.”