Alito: COVID Has Highlighted ‘Disturbing’ Trend of ‘Lawmaking by Executive Fiat’ and ‘Rule by Experts’

During a speech before the Federalist Society on Thursday, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said that the coronavirus pandemic has “highlighted disturbing trends” in the law such as “dominance of lawmaking by executive fiat, rather than legislation.” Which he characterized as “the movement toward rule by experts.”

Alito began by cautioning that, aside from specific references to any Supreme Court cases, he isn’t commenting on the legality of coronavirus restrictions and isn’t making any statements as to whether the restrictions constitute good policy.

He stated that coronavirus has “highlighted disturbing trends that were already present before the virus struck.”

Alito continued, “One of these is the dominance of lawmaking by executive fiat, rather than legislation. The vision of early-20th century progressives and the New Dealers of the 1930s was that policymaking would shift from narrowminded elected legislators to an elite group of appointed experts. In a word, that policymaking would become more scientific. That dream has been realized to a large extent. Every year, administrative agencies, acting under broad delegations of authority, churn out huge volumes of regulations that dwarf the statutes enacted by the people’s elected representatives. And what have we seen in the pandemic? Sweeping restrictions imposed, for the most part, under statutes that confer enormous executive discretion.”

He concluded that coronavirus restrictions have “highlighted the movement toward rule by experts.”

(h/t Fox News)

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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