Gorsuch's nomination comes with a curveball -- namely his skepticism of the longstanding doctrine that courts should defer to the executive branch's interpretations of law. Gorsuch has favored an approach to administrative law that would limit President Donald Trump's discretion and power.
Let me explain. Officials who answer to the president, such as the attorney general or the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, have to interpret law all the time. When agencies issue regulations or decide whether parties have violated federal regulatory law, they often must decide what federal statutes have to say on the matter. And when parties disagree with these agencies' decisions, they can challenge them in court.
A judicial doctrine known as Chevron deference, named after a 1984 Supreme Court case on the matter, governs how strictly a court should review an agency's interpretation of law ... If the court finds the statute unclear, it must defer to the agency's interpretation so long as it as a reasonable one -- even if that reading is not what the court would have adopted on its own ... As a practical matter, Chevron deference can shift substantial power to the executive branch, and therefore [to] the president.