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Commentary By Ilya Shapiro

MI Responds: Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo

Governance Supreme Court

Ilya Shapiro analyses the SCOTUS session: "We will be in a new world of administrative law."

New York, NY — The Manhattan Institute's director of constitutional studies, Ilya Shapiro, was present at the Supreme Court during today's oral arguments session in the case Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, which challenges the power of federal agencies to interpret unclear statutes. He offers the following analysis:  "After a long couple of interlocking arguments that were at times both technical and theoretical, the main thing that’s clear is that a majority of justices are unhappy with the current state of the law. Whether the Court ultimately dumps Chevron deference altogether or 'Kisorizes' it—completely rewriting it so it’s really a different standard—we will be in a new world of administrative law.

"The smart money is on the Court’s 'ending it, not mending it' because, as Roman Martinez (counsel to the Relentless fishermen) explained, the Chevron vessel is at this point encrusted with so many jurisprudential barnacles that adding even more would only further sink the lower courts. And as Paul Clement (counsel to the Loper Bright fishermen) explained over several captivating minutes when the justices were as mesmerized as the audience, Chevron has warped congressional dynamics such that it's impossible to legislate on major issues—because one party or the other can just depend on its brethren in executive agencies to accomplish its policy goals.

"At this point, the Supreme Court should just tell judges to do the hard work of statutory interpretation and hold the bureaucracy to the same standards as the citizens it regulates."

Ilya co-authored an amicus brief in this case, as well as two op-eds explaining the stakes in this case:

Amicus Brief: Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo (Manhattan Institute)
Will the Supreme Court Trim Chevron’s Sails? (City Journal online)
The court takes on the administrative state (Washington Examiner)

Ilya Shapiro is director of constitutional studies and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Please direct all media inquiries to press officer Nic Abouchedid at

Photo by Douglas Rissing/iStock