The Corner


Arizona Shows How to Combat the Administrative State

The Trump administration deserves a measure of credit for its efforts to roll back and restrain excessive regulatory rulemaking. There have been real achievements, but — sadly — there has not yet been any fundamental reform. In other words, everything the Trump administration has done, the next president can undo.

But there is a path towards real change. Just ask Arizona. Earlier this month, Governor Doug Ducey signed H.B. 2238, a bill that rolls back a legal doctrine that has empowered the administrative state to enjoy extraordinary authority over American lives. The bill, drafted and passed with the help of the Goldwater Institute, statutorily overturns so-called Chevron deference, a legal doctrine that required courts to defer to agency interpretations of relevant statutes.

In essence, thanks in large part to judicial deference, administrative agencies have usurped the roles of every other branch of government. They’re lawmakers (writing new regulations), executives (enforcing the regulations), and even judges (they often adjudicate regulatory disputes). All the while courts remain hands-off, overturning administrative actions only in extreme circumstances.

This state of affairs only exists because legislatures and courts allow it to exist. Congress and the Supreme Court have voluntarily stepped back, and the presidency has eagerly stepped forward. But there is an alternative. Other states (and Congress) can restore the separation of powers. Arizona has shown the way.

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Most Popular

Alert: NRPlus Call with Devin Nunes is Imminent

We are delighted that Republican congressman Devin Nunes is joining us this week for a call with our NRPlus members. It’s Wednesday at 11:45 a.m. If you are a member, you should have an invite in your inbox. If you are not, you can sign up here. I’ll be moderating and we’ll be taking your questions through ... Read More
Politics & Policy

‘We Can’t Afford It’

Leon Trotsky — n.b., Millennials: He was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez before she was — understood the power of single-payer systems: “The old principle: who does not work shall not eat, has been replaced with a new one: who does not obey shall not eat.” The socialist powers of Trotsky’s time made good on ... Read More

When the Press Sees Red

You’ve probably seen the viral footage of a Native American beating his drum, surrounded by a crowd of students from Covington Catholic high school. One of them, wearing a MAGA hat, is right in front of him, with a smirk on his face. It was an odd moment combining the end of the March for Life, which the ... Read More