ObamaCare supporters outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, November 10, 2020 (Alex Brandon/AP)

I joined the BBC World Service on Saturday to explain how the US Supreme Court’s conservative majority has restricted the ability of American agencies to act on issues such as the environment, health care, gun control, civil rights, and more.

Listen to Discussion from 45:04

On Friday, in a 6-3 ruling, the Court overturned the precedent of 1984’s “Chevron decision”, which gave federal agencies the authority to implement regulations through interpretation of Congress.

The ruling vastly expands the power of the judicial branches, effectively giving courts a veto over the administrative power of agencies. And even if judges do not block specific regulations, the increase in litigation from opponents could tie up implementation for years.

The effect? Obamacare, the Clean Water and Clear Water Acts, the limited checks on guns, federal education programs, regulation of trade and commerce, and even support of civil rights could be gutted or sharply restricted.

That almost unlimited expansion of judicial power is what the three dissenting, moderate justices called out. There is also a worry, crossing into the political domain, that there is a project to undermine US agencies, shatter their ability to act — in an environment where Donald Trump and his allies have threatened to bury those agencies.