Kavanaugh may drain swamp of bureaucracies
President Trump's nominating Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court drew a less than convincing negative reaction from Democrats and the media. Immediately following the president's announcement last Monday, many of the groups in their haste to oppose the nominee, failed to write in Kavanaugh's name on their signs and TV graphics. One group was opposed to “XX.” Another was opposed to “Cavenaugh.”
Kavanaugh appears to be a good, establishment judge more in the mold of John Roberts than Antonin Scalia. He's begun meeting with senators on both sides of the aisle, and those-in-the-know predict the senate will confirm him before the November elections.
A friend referred an article to me from “Utility Dive,” an online journal/ blog for and by folks in the energy sector. Title and subtitle of the article pretty much summarize fears some in the sector feel regarding some of Kavanaugh's rulings.
“Kavanaugh pick threatens EPA policies, FERC authority, lawyers say: The Supreme Court nominee has a track record of curtailing federal regulations and has questioned the constitutionality of independent agencies like FERC.” (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission)
President Trump promised supporters he would “drain the swamp.” Trump's detractors don't know what “the swamp” is. A writer in “The Atlantic” called on “Trump Voters to Face the Bitter Truth” that Trump is not draining the swamp because many who have been close to him over the years have set up shop making themselves filthy rich by selling “access” to Trump.
Trump's supporters don't believe lobbyists are “the swamp.” The swamp is government. Lobbyists are merely slime floating on the swamp. Drain the swamp and the slime dies for lack of sustenance. The swamp is big government, establishment politicians, and oppressive bureaucracies.
Environmental activists in the energy sector fear Kavanaugh may rule against federal agencies that make their own rules without any accountable oversight from the three branches of government. According to the article above, “[Kavanaugh's] judicial approach would likely mean that federal agencies will have less latitude at the Supreme Court in crafting regulations, and will have to adhere more closely to the text of their underlying statutes. But some lawyers worry that Kavanaugh's skepticism toward federal regulation could go further, leading him to question the very foundation of agencies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.”
In other words, they fear Kavanaugh may rule either to drain the swamp of independent government agencies that make up their own rules and essentially disregard statutes that limit their reach, or reel in rogue agencies' powers that have grown well beyond the intent of Congress.
The federal bureaucracy, including so-called “independent federal agencies,” is larger, more powerful and more costly to the American taxpayer than the three constitutional branches combined. Those who are making fortunes playing inside or alongside these bureaucracies will scream loudly if courts examine whether agencies are constitutional or have strayed far beyond foundational statutes.
In the past 50 years, the federal bureaucracy along with private environmental organizations has spent trillions of dollars to protect the environment and to curb “climate change.” What if these funds had been invested in ending world hunger and poverty? How far would a few trillion dollars have gone to make a real difference in the lives of billions who suffer daily? While such spending is not an either/ or proposition, we need to consider spending priorities in light of those most vulnerable among us.
Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville, MS. You may contact him atPJandMe2@gmail.com, or interact with him on the Clarion-Ledger web sitehttp:// www.clarionledger.com/ story/opinion/