Gorsuch’s Opposition to Chevron Speaks Well of Trump and Is a Dilemma for Democrats
A common criticism of President Trump is that he is an authoritarian executive. But he has chosen to nominate a judge who is on the record against giving deference to interpretation of statutes by heads of executive agencies. Gorsuch opposes an important doctrine that would protect the administration’s authority. There were many judges on his list of 21 potential nominees who were more favorable to Chevron and yet he passed them over. This choice is not the action of someone who wants to maximize his power at all costs. Perhaps some would say that Trump was just ignorant of these details. But surely his key agents, including Steven Bannon and Reince Priebus, recognized this salient feature of Gorsuch’s record and they recommended him nonetheless. Just as Trump’s nominations suggest he is better than his off-the-cuff statements, so his nomination of Gorsuch likely suggests that his administration’s considered views on federal power are better than his impulsive tweets.