The air is crisp and the leaves are turning. It’s fall. Which means it’s time for another rollicking term at 1 First Street. Yes, that’s right. Summer’s over and luxury boondoggles and private jet travel are things of the past (we hope!) as the Supreme Court gets back to business.
And what is that business? Well, this term feels slightly different from the two previous terms, which included hot-button cases on abortion, gun rights, and affirmative action. This term, the cases are technical and wonky – not the kind of stuff that’s going to be discussed ad nauseam on cable news or in the press. But that doesn’t mean that this term is any less consequential than the two that preceded it. To the contrary, the Court is poised to decide whether modern government as we know it is constitutional.
This term includes a trio of cases that have the potential to radically reshape the administrative state. So, what exactly is the administrative state? Well, if you’ve ever gotten a passport or filed your taxes, then you’ve interacted with the administrative state – a term that refers to administrative agencies. The Constitution provides Congress with a broad range of powers to legislate. But Congress is a huge and unwieldy body – it doesn’t necessarily have the agility or the expertise to actually administer and enforce the terms of the legislation it enacts.