In this case, I think the Texas senator’s complaints lay out pretty clearly what’s going on: Cruz sees the Supreme Court’s conservative majority as a “victory” in an ongoing ideological project. And he’s not wrong—that’s accurate how the conservative bloc of the court also sees it. Their ultimate goal has been clear for a long time: they want to kneel in Congress and install themselves as an unelected super legislature with veto power over the executive and legislative branches.
What makes the “administrative state” work is the interaction between these branches. Traditionally, the Supreme Court has given executive branch agencies broad discretion in interpreting the laws, allowing them to be agile when times change but the laws do not. as i have noted above“An EPA that couldn’t rely on that wiggle room would need Congress to constantly pass new laws telling it how to proceed on every issue within its purview and then pass additional new laws covering the same ground as circumstances change.”
The IRA’s revised definition of carbon dioxide won’t frustrate conservatives on the Supreme Court, but it does show that Democrats on Capitol Hill are taking their threats more seriously. As frequent TNR contributor Simon Lazarus tells me, “The most important thing about the IRA provisions is not exactly what they say, or how they will strengthen the arguments against, say, the court implementing the question doctrine. to reverse major new EPA actions. Rather, what is important is the political fact that the Democrats acted to take over [a Supreme Court] with the intent to micromanage Congress and executive agencies and in the interest of Republican agendas and interests, in particular, the Republican Megadonor Priorities who have also financed the rise of judges to the power they now hold on the court.”