Supreme Court Views on Price Stability and Full Employment

In the wake of the SCOTUS decision regarding Chevron deference, I investigate this issue. Here is a summary of academic research on Supreme Court views on these topics, separate from whether fiat money as currently established in the United States as unconstitutional (e.g., see here). I also defer discussion on whether the Federal Reserve is constitutional.

  • On price stability: [null set]
  • On full employment: [null set]

However, we can infer from recent experience that members of SCOTUS as currently composed will determine with care the proper definitions for price stability and full employment, as exemplified by Justice Gorsuch’s acute understanding of the financial regulatory framework in noting the role of the “Security and Exchange Commission”, and the environmental implications of pollutants, including “nitrous oxide” [Forbes].

Since Justice Gorsuch has declared himself (as have others) as textualists, it suggests to me that if he were to be internally consistent in his rulings, he would assert price stability and full employment require:

for all time periods, where p is probably CPI, and u is the civilian unemployment rate. The current unemployment rate is 4.0%. It shouldn’t be too hard for the Supreme Court to determine how to get u=0 and the first time derivative of p equal to 0 simultaneously.

For more discussion on Justice Gorsuch’s views on how much deference should be accorded to administrative agencies, see here.



17 thoughts on “Supreme Court Views on Price Stability and Full Employment

  1. David S

    Is this post mocking the divine wisdom of the theological scholars who hold a majority on the High Court? I know that our esteemed blogger survived the academic purges of the Walker administration, but given where this country is headed it is best to keep one’s head down. The reinstatement of our Dear Leader, The Holy Orange, shall bestow upon us full employment through the dismissal of the illegals and the imposition of fair taxes on the reckless imports of the Chinese. The servants in the House and Senate may have to institute some Wage & Price controls if that’s necessary for the WIN.

  2. 2slugbaits

    Gorsuch has had a real “white whale” complex about federal regulatory power ever since his mother (Ann Gorsuch) was involved in a bribery scandal back in the Reagan years and had to resign as head of the EPA. He even wrote about how unfair it all was to his mother. Same persecution complex we see with a lot of hard right MAGA types.

  3. pgl

    Richard Timberlake taught at the University of Georgia – often known for frat parties and football. Yes he was a bit of a gold bug but he also advocated that private companies and not the FED should issue money. A Cato, Heritage kind of dude that only Rand Paul could love. And yea – he was also a climate change denier.

  4. Macroduck

    We have yet another case of the Supreme Court overturning its own precedent – something every nominee to the Court has declared, under oath before the Senate, that they won’t do lightly.

    The question at hand is why today’s Court, as represented by Neil Gorsuch, has overturned a long-standing Supreme Court holding – existing law – to suit itself. Before I mansplain it for y’all, I just want to emphasize that this isn’t Gorsuch overturning Scalia; it’s today’s Court conservatives overturning the past holdings of the Supreme Court.

    Now, I’m gonna pretend I never wrote that and focus on the two men. What separates Gorsuch from Scalia? Here’s a mini-C.V. for both:

    Born: Trenton, NJ, 1936
    Parents: Catherine Scalia (School Teacher) and Salvatore Scalia (Professor of Romance Languages)
    Education: Georgetown and Harvard Law
    Career: Washington insider, Nixon and Ford administrations, Judge

    Born: Denver, CO, 1967
    Parents: Anne Gorsuch (Attorney, EPA Administrator under Reagan) and David Gorsuch (Attorney)
    Education: Columbia and Harvard Law
    Career: Washingon Insider (Bush II Administration), Judge

    The differences aren’t great, but there is one thing I notice; Neil Gorsuch grew up in the household of Anne Gorsuch (Burford) and step-father Robert Burford. Both served in the Colorado legislature, where Gorsuch was known as a radical right-winger. Both held the Western anti-Washington views of James Watt and his circle. Cliven Bundy’s clan are an outgrowth of this Western, anti-Washington view.

    My parents knew Anne Gorsuch, so I have a little bit of casual social history (gossip) which may be skewing my thinking. I may have a rather selective reading of son Neil’s ideological foundation. Based on my knowledge of his family, I think he will take any opportunity to weaken federal power. He is steeped in a right-wing antipathy toward the federal government.

  5. Rick Stryker


    We have much more to celebrate than the overturn of Chevron deference. Auer deference is likely next on the chopping block. And Scotus slapped down the Biden Administration’s lawfare in the Fischer case. Good news all around.

    BTW, I know I thanked you already, but I wanted to express my gratitude again for the tip on the buying opportunity in the Trump-Biden market. As I said, I expected the bet on Trump to continue to make money and it did, but after the smack down in A-town Biden is selling at fire sale prices. Biden told a lot of whoppers at the debate, but the worst was when he boasted that he had a six handicap, prompting Trump to retort I’ve seen your swing. Biden’s price probably collapsed just then.

    Scotus is on a roll, the House and Senate are going Republican in 2024, and Trump is steamrolling into the whitehouse. You guys are in a pickle. You tried to hide Biden’s dementia, with your talk about deepfakes and cheapfakes, and your trotting out of Dem politicians and supporters to lie about the President’s mental state. No one can unsee the debate however. Maybe the only play you have left is for the Administration to order Merchan to give Trump immediate jail time at his sentencing at the NYC show trial. Will that stop Trump’s momentum? Maybe you or some commenters can opine whether I should take profits now to guard against the jail time risk and then put the trade back on when the market comes to its senses. Or should I go short Biden? I’d appreciate some advice so I can do the opposite.

    1. pgl

      Gee golf and links that seemed to be banned cites? I guess THE RICK is making a porn movie starring nothing more than male golfers. Other than that – we see your comments are nothing more than MAGA trash.

    2. baffling

      ahhh, old Rick Stryker seems to be taking some time off as a porn star to demonstrate his law skills. what a renaissance man. as a lawyer, he seems to be overlooking the fact that he is supporting a man convicted of 35 felony offenses. trump is not allowed to obtain a job for the state of texas, but he qualifies for president? that is what you get from the law logic of rick Stryker.

  6. pgl

    “Auer deference is likely next on the chopping block.”

    I love it when trolls like THE RICK toss lines like this without having even the remotest idea WTF he is babbling about. THE RICK can’t tell you but I will. Auer v. Robbins was a 9-0 decision from the Supremes in a case involving the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and a 1974 extension. It involved whether policemen are entitled to overtime pay.

    But THE RICK is either too stupid or too uncaring to let readers know what this case was about. Maybe it is because THE RICK could care less whether policemen are properly paid.

    1. Rick Stryker


      You reveal your ignorance once again. Yes, the original case was about police officer pay, but the Auer deference that grew out of that case is one of two major underpinnings of the administrative state, the other being Chevron, which is now gone. Auer deference requires a court to defer to an agency’s own interpretation of its own regulations (as opposed to statutes passed by Congress), even if the agency regulation is ambiguous or applied inconsistently. In the 2019 case Kisor v Wilkie, SCOTUS rolled back Auer deference but didn’t eliminate it altogether. The court has not decided whether Auer deference is inconsistent with the Administrative Procedure Act or the Constitution. We know that four conservative justices think it is and four liberal justices think it isn’t, and we don’t know Roberts’ or Barrett’s view. Given that they threw out Chevron, it’s a safe bet that when a case does arise that requires the court to opine on whether Auer conflicts with the APA or constitution, Auer will be history.

      You and Menzie show your legal ignorance by Menzie putting up this silly post and you taking it seriously. When an issue is of “vast economic and political significance”, the “major questions” doctrine would apply and Chevron is irrelevant. The Fed has been around much longer than 1984, when Chevron was decided. Chevron is not what gives the Fed authority to conduct monetary policy as it sees fit. To think that getting rid of Chevron opens the door to judges deciding monetary policy is beyond ridiculous.

      1. pgl

        Gee THE RICK pretends he is a legal scholar which I guess is the best he can do since the porn sector tossed THE RICK aside some 34 years ago. Hey Ricky boy – they missed you at the Stonewall celebrations on Friday but an aging porn star does not turn the boys on anymore. Sorry dude.

        Now with all your pretend legal knowledge I see you totally ducked my questions. Which of course is what faux lawyers always do.

      2. pgl

        “You and Menzie show your legal ignorance by Menzie putting up this silly post and you taking it seriously.”

        Monetary policy is silly to THE RICK? Wow. Then again you suck at macroeconomics almost as much as you suck at law.

        ‘The Fed has been around much longer than 1984, when Chevron was decided.’

        I guess THE RICK hasn’t be reading the legal opinions of Alito and Thomas. Yes the FED has been around for 110 years but your two heroes to take the clock back to the 13th century. And maybe THE RICK should read the links our host provided as people like Timberlake would take us back to the writing of the Constitution. Look – Timberlake is not exactly a Nobel Prize winner in economics but at least he gets monetary economics. THE RICK apparently is still struggling with 2 plus 2.

      3. pgl

        For the grownups here who doubt that THE RICK even has a law degree and want an analysis from actual legal scholars, here is something to read that is sympathetic to ending Chevron and Auer deference. Now why would THE RICK not tell us about this paper? Maybe because he is too ignorant to know it exists and too effing stupid to know what it means:

        Attacking Auer and Chevron Deference: A Literature Review

      4. pgl

        It seems that THE RICK in his utter incompetent legal research missed this Supreme Court ruling written by his hero Clarence Thomas:

        National Cable & Telecommunications Association v. Brand X Internet Services, 545 U.S. 967 (2005)

        The Commission’s conclusion that broadband cable modem companies are exempt from mandatory common-carrier regulation is a lawful construction of the Communications Act under Chevron and the Administrative Procedure Act. Pp. 8—32.

        Of course Thomas was a WalMart kind of dude back then but now he is bought and paid for by rich people.

  7. pgl

    THE RICK lists Kisor v. Wilkie (2019) but failed to talk about what started this litigation. So permit me

    James Kisor served in Vietnam and ended up with PTSD. Alas the VA ay first denied this soldiers the benefits he deserved but later decided to allow him to collect benefits but with the lag. I suspect most people would find this appalling but THE RICK could care less about our veterans the same way he could care less about policemen. No – all THE RICK cares about is this deference issue.

    I could ask if THE RICK even has a heart but we all know he does not. Same with former President Trump who was all for cutting the benefits of veterans (who he thinks are suckers and losers). MAGA.

  8. joseph

    The Supreme Court has ruled that you must give great deference to presidential actions if he is Donald Trump but you must not give deference to presidential actions if he is Joe Biden. Two cases with opposite rulings.

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