Is Congress Entitled to the Supreme Court’s Deference?
University of California Berkeley law professor Jonathan Gould and Columbia University law professor Olatunde C.A. Johnson have raised the alarm about what they see as a scary new threat in American politics. “The past decade,” they write in The Atlantic, “has witnessed a dangerous trend: a Supreme Court that expresses deep suspicion of Congress’s competence and motives.”
Gould and Johnson point to a few recent cases as evidence, including Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (2020), in which the Court declared the single-director structure of the congressionally created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to be unconstitutional. According to their argument, the Supreme Court has no business second-guessing these sorts of statutory and regulatory schemes designed by Congress. They also fault the Court for acting in a way that undermines the ostensible will of the majority. “Congress’s members are far more representative of the American people than are the Supreme Court’s nine justices,” they write. “In failing to trust Congress, the Court gives greater weight to its own judgment than that of the more democratically a
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