Small Business Owners Are Optimistic About Trump's Supreme Court Nominee

Date: February 13, 2017

Owners see Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch as a win for small business.

President Donald Trump’s appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court is a good pick for small businesses, experts say. 


Following in the footsteps of former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Gorsuch is seen as business-friendly on labor and workplace issues, according to the Associated Press.

“When I look at Judge Gorsuch, do I think he is pro-business? The answer is yes,” Michael Burg, founder of the Denver-based law firm Burg, Simpson, Eldredge, Hersh & Jardine, told Business Insider. “Does he match up with Justice Scalia in terms of his view of the Constitution and that you have to go back and look at the Constitution in terms of how the framers and the founders meant it to be in 1789? Yes.” 

One reason for business’ enthusiasm is Gorsuch’s skepticism of the Chevron deference or doctrine, which “holds that when the intent of a law is not clear, courts should defer to regulators to decide how rules should be applied,” according to CNN

In a court opinion written in August, Gorsuch said the Chevron deference permits “executive bureaucracies to swallow huge amounts of core judicial and legislative power and concentrate federal power in a way that seems more than a little difficult to square with the Constitution of the framers’ design.” 

The Chevron deference, for example, was used in 2005’s Michigan v. EPA. According to The Atlanticthat decision then laid the groundwork for former President Barrack Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Without the Chevron deference, the Clean Power Plan might not even exist, according to The Atlantic. NFIB has been fighting the Clean Power Plan since its inception, and the order is currently under a stay

NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan, who was at the White House for the announcement, praised Trump’s nomination of Gorsuch on behalf of small businesses, and mentioned how Gorsuch’s challenge to use of the Chevron deference is seen as a positive by small businesses.

“Judge Gorsuch’s willingness to challenge the Chevron Doctrine, under which the courts often defer to regulatory agencies on the interpretation of statutes, is a very positive signal to small businesses,” Duggan said. “Regulatory overreach is a serious threat and the basis on which NFIB is actively fighting multiple agencies in federal court.” 


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