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The Truly Devastating Power Grab You're Missing In The Biden Debate Fiasco

Joe Biden’s addled, halting debate performance on Thursday night is getting a lot of media attention today. That’s fine, given the profound questions it raises about his abilities to conduct a successful campaign.

But a Supreme Court decision Friday morning gutting federal regulatory power isn’t getting nearly as much attention. That’s not fine, given the profound ways it could affect everyday Americans.

Friday’s ruling upended what’s called the “Chevron doctrine,” a long-standing legal principle that gave federal agencies broad discretion to interpret the instructions Congress hands them for writing rules and regulations.

That might sound obscure or technical. It isn’t. In fact, it’s hard to overstate how important Chevron has been to the basic functioning of government, for reasons my HuffPost colleague Paul Blumenthal has spelled out.

When Congress writes laws to guarantee clean drinking water, for example, or to protect consumers from fraud, those instructions will inevitably leave executive branch agencies room for interpretation ― in part, because lawmakers recognize they don’t really have enough expertise or clairvoyance to get that detailed.

Under the Chevron doctrine, which dates back to a 1984 Supreme Court ruling involving the Chevron oil company, agencies had wide leeway to interpret lawmakers’ instructions and proceed accordingly. Those interpretations could be challenged in court, but under Chevron, judges would defer to agencies as long as they thought the agencies were being “reasonable.”

Chevron has been the foundation for all kinds of rules that affect everyday life. Emission limits on vehicles, safety standards for food and drugs, guidelines for broadband access ― in all of these instances and

Read more on huffpost.com