The US Supreme Court Building stands in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, January 22, 2019.
Al Drago | Bloomberg | The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to remove a precedent that strengthens the power of government regulators in a closely monitored case that could have far-reaching consequences for federal agencies.
The precedent is known as the "Auer deference" after the 1997 Auer v. Robbins. Since Auer, the Supreme Court has ruled that the courts should postpone the interpretations of the agencies to their own rules if these rules are ambiguous. Although the Supreme Court retained the precedent, it did so by imposing restrictions.
"Auer's respect has an important role to play in regulating agencies," said Judge Elena Kagan, who presented the court's opinion. "But even if we maintain it, we strengthen its borders."
Kagan relies heavily on the legal principle of "stare decisis", which places a high barrier of decisions that overrule court decisions from the past. She suggested that, due to Auer's wide scope, the reverse may be particularly severe: "This is the rare rejection that introduces so much instability in so many areas of law, with one stroke," she writes. But the conservatives of the court, who agreed with Kagan's decision but signed separate statements, explaining their arguments, suggested that Auer was unreasonable. Justice Neal Gorshush, who is skeptical of Auer, agrees that while the rule stands, "the doctrine turns out to be mutilated and weakened ̵
Chief Justice John Roberts joins part of Cagan's opinion of the majority. as the fifth voice. Roberts wrote a separate, conciliatory opinion that the distance between Kagan and Gorshhu was "not as big as it could first appear".
Kagan stressed that for the interpretation of the government agency to be valid, the interpretation must be reasonable, authoritative, and based on expert knowledge. Roberts writes that these limitations are essentially the same as those of Gorsuch, although Gorshu writes that a judge, not the agency, should have more power to make the last invitation.
A veteran seaman sought disability payments since 1980.
The facts of the case relate to a Marine Corps veteran, James Kisor, who claims that the Veterans Ministry owes him retroactive disability payments dating back to the 1980s of the past century to encompass the treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder he has developed from engaging in particularly dreadful struggles in Vietnam
Veteran issues claim that under his regulations only Kisor benefits are to be granted in 2006. This interpretation shall be considered to be compulsory under Auer.
Read more: This case brings together business, labor and immigration groups. Some, however, believe that the government's act against government regulation [Kikor] claims that the High Court should cancel Auer, saying he gives government bureaucrats too much power.
This argument united an unusual coalition of business, labor and immigration rights groups, all of whom wrote abstracts calling on judges to reject Auer.
However, unity, some scholars and democratic MPs saw the case as part of a wider strategy. organized by conservative legal minds to diminish the power of regulators.
"This case is being considered by the Court as part of a larger strategy to ban the regulation of public interest," Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island said in a brief report to the court.
The case is officially known as Kisor vs. Wilkie 18-15
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