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DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE: The Chevron deference (doctrine): toppling the government’s alphabet soup

The real threat to our democracy lies in misinformation

I’m not sure who said it, but try this statement on for accuracy these days: 

“The real threat to democracy is an administration that weaponizes government and targets and intimidates political opponents.” 

I’ve heard people say the weaponization of our government comes from the alphabet agencies that are vast and powerful – without even having been put into power.

Think: DOJ, DOD, IRS, FDA, EPA, ATF, all the Bureaus of this and that, and each one offering the illusion of knowing what is best while creating rules and regulations that penalize Americans.

The Supreme Court overturned the Chevron deference (doctrine) last week in a 6-3 opinion as part of the combined cases of Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce. 

This ruling effectively ended a 40-year-old decision Chevron vs. Natural Resources Defense Council that set a standard for the federal courts to defer to the alphabet agency’s “expertise” when a “reasonable interpretation of a statute” was ambiguous.

In short, the Loper Bright and Relentless had to do with the National Marine Fisheries Service that “established industry-funded [at-sea] monitoring programs in New England fishery management plans.” 

I think with this overturning, finally Americans who are fed up with the overstepping of agencies (referred to as the fourth arm of government, or what has also been denoted as “deep state”) have been dealt a big win.

Chevron deference became a legal precedent under President Ronald Reagan, but from what I understand about this doctrine it can be used for good – or bad – by either administration depending on the narrative they want to set.

And since that time, Americans have been stuck with out of control rules and regulations that are often more harm than good.

Fauci comes to mind in that last statement. 

Fauci, and his meanderings (read my column two weeks ago on how he said he made up the COVID six-feet rule), and that is just a start.

These experts who are making these calls that affect the very fabric of our country are clearly not always experts, but bureaucrats handed a title to fit into the alphabet soup mix. 

I’m sorry, wasn’t Fauci SUPPOSED to be an expert? 

A short civics lesson – we have three branches of government. 

The Executive Branch with the President and Vice President; the Legislative Branch of Congress making up the Senate and the House; and the Judicial Branch including the Supreme Court.

This fourth branch of government consisting of the three letter agencies are supposed to enforce the rules the Legislative Branch pass. 

The problem is this fourth branch consists of unelected civil servants who are assigned way too much power and who the American people did not elect to set the laws for our Republic.

While the Republicans are saying the Democrats have misused the idea of the Chevron deference doctrine, it could go either way depending on who is the majority in government and how far said majority wants to go to get their way.

One article outlined the “bigger picture” with a strong headline “Supreme Court overturns Chevron doctrine, limiting federal agency reach (,as%20valid%20as%20the%20agency’s).

In short, according to this article, “The Administrative Procedure Act requires courts to exercise their independent judgment in deciding whether an agency has acted within its statutory authority, and courts may not defer to an agency interpretation of the law simply because a statute is ambiguous, the high court ruled.”

The word on the street is that since the overturn, “The alphabet agencies now have NO LEGAL STAKE nor say in any law anymore.”

My takeaway is this ruling overturning the Chevron deference doctrine is a good thing. 

Isn’t it about time these three letter agencies stopped deciding what’s best for the people of the United States?

One woman was concerned the overturning will put limits on the checks and balances.

My view over here is these agencies are part of the checks and balances when it comes to regulations that have for years been merely “bought and sold.” 

If agencies like the FDA really did employ expert advisors, would Americans still be poisoning themselves with foods banned in – say Europe – since the dark ages.

Another example of the way these agencies have not protected the American people – let’s use the FDA again, this agency is supposed to keep the food and drugs safe. 

Have they when drug companies are (it’s rumored) allowed to pay the FDA to get their drug fast tracked and then the drug is rescinded when it causes harm. 

Did you know roughly one-third of all drugs are recalled? 

In fact, according to Harvard Health, “there are more than 1,000 drug recalls each year. However, the FDA issued a record-high of 2,163 drug recall enforcement reports in 2019.”

Why put the drugs out for Americans to use, charge the price of a new home and then have it do more harm than good? 

Yes, that agency really cares, doesn’t it?

One man I know said, “The Supreme Court overturning the Chevron Act is now giving the Supreme Court the ability to do the job that they were always supposed to be doing.” 

So, let’s just say it’s better to ere on the side of limited versus centralized government regulations.

Another fine example of the administration game playing through the three-letter agencies is the Department of Homeland Security and its control. 

Or, should I say lack of control during this administration. 

The Border Patrol under the last president followed the law because the law was to shut down the flow of illegals. 

This administration uses that same agency to forget policy and law to let everyone in – the more the merrier and asylum for anyone who can find their way into the country.

The overturning of this ruling now drastically reduces the power of federal agencies to independently create regulations, which affect nearly 20,000 laws and standards.

I don’t know about you, but I think if we needed an out-of-control fourth arm of government it would have been part of the creation of this country.

It was not, so let’s just leave it right there.


Rita Cook is a freelance writer for The Ellis County Press. She can be reached at

Ellis County Press

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