800px-Capitol_Building_Full_ViewI will be testifying Tuesday afternoon before the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law of the Committee on the Judiciary
in the United States House of Representatives. The hearing is entitled “The Chevron Doctrine: Constitutional and Statutory Questions in Judicial Deference to Agencies”. The hearing will be held in Room 2141 (Rayburn House Office Building) and begin at 1:30 PM. My written testimony is below

I am honored to be appearing with two current and one former colleague from George Washington. The hearing will consist of:

Professor Jonathan Turley, The Shapiro Professor Of Public Interest Law, The George Washington University

Professor John Duffy, Samuel H. McCoy II Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law

Dr. George Shepherd, Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law

Professor Jack Beerman, Professor of Law and Henry Elwood Warren Scholar, Boston University School of Law

Professor Richard Pierce Jr., Lyle T. Alverson Professor of Law The George Washington University Law School

Professor Emily Hammond, Associate Dean for Public Engagement, The George Washington University Law School

I come to this issue as someone who often agrees and supports the work of federal agencies. However, the agreement with the work of agencies – or for that matter, with this Administration as a whole – should not blind us to the implications of the growing influence and independence of federal agencies. As I state in my testimony, I believe that the Supreme Court has made a colossal mess of this field with ill-defined, and at times, conflicting standards. Indeed, it imposed a solution to a problem that did not really exist and, in doing so, created a host of greater problems for our system. Accordingly, I believe that Congress can play a key role in restoring the system and addressing the negative (and unintended) consequences of Chevron.

Here is my testimony: Testimony-Turley-Chevron-Hearing-pdf


  1. @ Tin,

    Certainly you can understand that no matter how successful in later life, anyone who grew up in a middle class family has experiences like those of the 99.9%. Thomas had the typical experiences of those who grew up middle class, plus the additional burden of growing up black in the Jim Crow South. By your definition of privilege, anyone appointed to the court would be elite, So, by your own definition, there is logically no way to repair the lack of diversity you decry in your post. What was the point?

  2. In sum….vietnam against commie central planners was a yuge lie. And every battle since “for democracy” was a yuge lie. As evidenced now when the orbit of the super delegated and the brokered will collide. Especially given regime change…hillarry believes in it for libya and michigan. Screw you is what forty percent of this nation is saying. Suck the bird. We may not get the best guy…but we ain’t taking no more crapola either. If he lies or fails then in two years we renew the impeaching house. …..but we are taking our country back from the central planners and nannies. Right here right now. Not anytime any place. But this year in america. Your testimony is nice. But we figured this sham without ivy league credentials.

  3. The problem with the expansion of powers is, as this article points out, it is quite difficult to rein in. They become unaccountable and too powerful.

    Another challenge is that criticism of government agencies is met with inflammatory rhetoric. Criticize the EPA overreach or their contradictory alliance with Monsanto and pesticides, and you are considered against all environmental regulation.

    Here is a funny anecdote about dealing the CA’s infamous Coastal Commission:


  4. Catholic schools are “inexpensive?” Haha, apparently you are a 1%er yourself! As for Justice Thomas: Catholic schools to Yale Law; appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney General at age 26; Asst Secretary, U.S. Dept of Education at age 33; chairman, EEOC the following year at age 34; DC Court of Appeals at 42; SCOTUS 16 months later. Yep, just an average American. The only thing unique about his qualifications is that he is the only member of SCOTUS without an Ivy League undergraduate degree. A bachelor’s degree from Holy Cross would have gotten him into a Catholic law school if he were white. Thus Georgetown Law, Notre Dame or the Univ of San Francisco. And then practice at a mid-level firm or federal agency. Being black transported him into Yale Law and a quick succession of high-level federal positions at a young age and no underlying administrative experience. Clarence Thomas is every bit as elite as the other jurists.

  5. @ Tin,

    Middle class does not translate into someone in the elite 0.1% who lacks the experiences of those in the other 99.9%. Many poor black children attend Catholic schools, then as now, because those schools provide inexpensive but good educations. What Thomas had were family members who inculcated a strong set of values which were the norm in his day, not just among the elite but also the vast majority of Americans. And he was still an African American in the Jim Crow South.

  6. @ JR,

    Clarence Thomas’s father abandoned his family when he was a child, and his mother was unable to support him by herself. So, at age 7, he was sent to live with his paternal grandparents. His grandfather had a fuel oil delivery business, and was solidly middle class by any standards, and considered prosperous in their community. Clarence was enrolled in Catholic school, and he stayed in private Catholic schools through high school and college, before commencing his studies at Yale Law School. While his family weren’t Rockefellers or Vanderbilts, he certainly had more economic and educational advantages than many Americans, including myself.

  7. @ Tin,

    I suspect that Clarence Thomas, born to a poor black family in Georgia during the Jim Crow era, would be surprised that he comes from a privileged social class.

  8. @ Olly:

    I’m not sure that geography matters all that much when considering SCOTUS appointments. I would expect that the legal-social-political indoctrination of law students at the top West Coast law schools is pretty much the same as that of East Coast law schools. Thus Berkeley and Stanford grads are likely to be quite similar to Harvard and Yale. Remember Earl Warren? Raised in California and Berkeley grad. The problem with SCOTUS is more the lack of diversity in social class. Regardless of ethnicity and religion, everyone who is appointed to the SCOTUS comes from the same elite socio-economic background and lacks the life experiences of the rest of the 99.9% of the population. So appointing someone who has worked as a public defender is a start. While I’m sure that her family background was unusually privileged or she wouldn’t have gone to Harvard, at least she had some exposure to the “real world” through her work as a P.D.

  9. Oh, its the dispute between the Executive Branch and Legislative Branch which comes to fore when the Legislative Branch can not legislate or find the outhouse to release their own pee. Usually the Legislative Branch is on vacation while the nation weeps. And in the issue of abuse of discretion it is the Legislative Branch’s failure to give law or guidance which causes so called abuse. Congress does not have time to hold a hearing to appoint a Supreme Court nominee yet they have time to listen to the Turleybirds from George Washington University.

  10. @ 1991 Turley Student: Actually, President Bernie is going to appoint Hillary to the SCOTUS, and JT will promptly pee himself.

  11. I wonder what Trump thinks about this complex issue. When he appoints Justin Bieber to the SCOTUS these rules will get clarified, or something.

  12. @JT

    Good remarks on King James I and the “shadow court” system. All in all, a very well written analysis, but may I offer one observation. I don ‘t think the average Congressman is going to read it, and if they did, their understanding might be hit or miss.

    Is it possible for you to offer a brief one to three page synopsis, with bullet points, and then attach this analysis to that document as backup???. That way, your typical Congressman can see the main points laid out for him in a simple fashion.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  13. Congress doesn’t want to restore the system. It wants to dismantle it and allow corporations to “regulate themselves”. Self regulation is no regulation.

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