Beth Klein Boulder Attorney’s Primer on the Chevron Doctrine

Beth Klein Boulder Attorney explores the interpretation of vague legislation and how agencies and courts confront circumstances where Congress has failed to be clear.   Do we defer to the agency bureaucracy or simply strike down ambiguous laws?

Under the Chevron Doctrine, Courts defer to agency interpretation of vague or ambiguous law.   What is problematic is that agencies are not only given the freedom to determine what the law is, but they can change their interpretation at any time.  Uncertainty about law destabilizes our society.

Chevron matters more today than ever, as President Trump changes agency rules – deleting 8 years of pro-union labor rules, immigration policies, environmental controls on fossil fuels and how the ACA is administered.    Can America withstand the whipsaw change of law and policy with the change of the party in charge?  Probably not well.

This is the current standard:

First, always, is the question whether Congress has directly spoken to the precise question at issue. If the intent of Congress is clear, that is the end of the matter; for the court, as well as the agency, must give effect to the unambiguously expressed intent of Congress. If, however, the court determines Congress has not directly addressed the precise question at issue, the court does not simply impose its own construction on the statute . . . Rather, if the statute is silent or ambiguous with respect to the specific issue, the question for the court is whether the agency’s answer is based on a permissible construction of the statute.

— Chevron U.S.A. v. NRDC, 467 U.S. 837, 842-43 (1984).

Gorsuch has called out the destabilizing effect of this doctrine.  Citizens should be able to rely on clear and stable law so that they can conform.

Under Chevron the people aren’t just charged with awareness of and the duty to conform their conduct to the fairest reading of the law …. Instead, they are charged with an awareness of Chevron; required to guess whether the statute will be declared “ambiguous” (courts often disagree on what qualifies); and required to guess (again) whether an agency’s interpretation will be deemed “reasonable.”  . . .

And, of course, that’s not the end of it. Even if the people somehow manage to make it through this far unscathed, they must always remain alert to the possibility that the agency will reverse its current view 180 degrees anytime based merely on the shift of political winds and still prevail.

Federal judges have started to  question the constitutionality of allowing Congress to grant so much deference to unelected bureaucrats and to pass unclear and unfinished laws.  Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote a decision last year declaring the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency unconstitutional because no one including the President had the power to fire its director.  Kavanaugh says “Because of their massive power and the absence of Presidential supervision and direction, independent agencies pose a significant threat to individual liberty and to the constitutional system of separation of powers and checks and balances,”  Gorsuch has expressed concerns about Congress delegating legislative power to the President.  The Supreme Court decided in 1892 that Congress can’t delegate legislative power to the president – members of Congress must remain accountable to voters in their own districts. The Supreme Court in 1935 rejected a statute giving the president the power to write an industrial code of competition.

The Courts alway struggle with legislative laziness, bad drafting and the inability and failure to agree on policy.  Activist judges fill in the gaps.  Others defer to the political branch or defer to agencies via the Chevron doctrine.

We are about to embark on a new legal journey.   And its time for Congress to step up their commitment to the People.

Beth Klein Boulder Attorney and the Chevron Doctrine

Rights to be lead questioner in Trump lawsuit auctioned off for charity!

maxresdefaultImagine if you will, a dream lawyer gig – deposing Trump!   Imagine further, that the right to be the lead questioner will be auctioned off of the highest bidder.

Which charity should receive the proceeds?

Leaders Wanted!

Council Vacancies
The Colorado Human Trafficking Council is a statewide, legislatively established body that represents a wide-range of sectors, disciplines, and perspectives. The Council strives to build and enhance collaboration among communities, improve comprehensive services for victims and survivors of human trafficking, to assist in the successful prosecution of human traffickers, and to help prevent human trafficking in Colorado.

There are currently three vacant seats on the Council that cover the following roles:

  • A “representative of a regional or city-wide human trafficking coalition,”
  • A “representative of an organization that provides direct services to victims of human trafficking,”
  • A “representative of a “non-profit organization that facilitates the treatment or housing of human trafficking victims.”

If you or someone you know is appropriate for these vacancies, visit the Council Vacancies page for further information on how to apply.

Trump and Human Trafficking

Beth Klein Boulder Attorney – Where slavery is prevalent and new global will to defeat it.

Even birds that are free to fly, cage them and they shall cry.

70% of all slavery exists in only 12 countries because laws are not enforced and traffickers operate with impunity.  Now we have the political will to fight it.  A global disciplined slavery fund and shared effort to end human trafficking with the global model of fighting AIDS is on the table.   Ending slavery is a victory that is actually possible in our generation.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; International Justice Mission; Thorn: Tech Innovation to Fight Child Sexual Exploitation were in attendance to advise the President, and it is good to see Human Trafficking as a first 100 days priority of this administration.

Slave owners prey on poor families seeking a better life

Gowri and her husband wanted to support their children and pay for their medical bills, so they took out a loan from a factory owner.

This turned out to be a trick, and the owner continually increased the loan, violently forcing the family to continue working long hours for him. This abuse continued for nearly 10 years, until IJM was able to send rescue. Today, the slave owner is standing trial, and the family is safe.

Gideon’s grandparents sent him to a man who promised to take care of him and help him go to school. Instead, the man enslaved Gideon* in a fishing boat on Lake Volta in Ghana.

Gideon’s grandfather was not wealthy enough to file charges against the slave owner, but early last year we were able to rescue Gideon and bring him home.


When Elsa* was 12 years old her father died, and her mother left. Elsa was determined to find work, save some money and support her brother.

A bar owner offered her a job that promised good pay. But it was a trap. The bar owner forced her into prostitution, and for years she faced violent abuse and sexual exploitation every single day. But now, Elsa is safe. She is a brave survivor of sex trafficking and describes herself as strong.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody, very nice. Nice to see you. Well, I want to thank Dina and Ivanka and everybody for working so hard to set this up. It’s been so important to them, and I want to make it clear today that my administration will focus on ending the absolutely horrific practice of human trafficking. And I am prepared to bring the full force and weight of our government to the federal and at the federal level, and the other highest levels, whatever we can do, in order to solve this horrific problem. It’s getting worse and it’s happening in the United States in addition to the rest of the world, but it’s happening in the United States, which is terrible.

Human trafficking is a dire problem, both domestically and internationally, and is one that’s made really a challenge. And it’s really made possible to a large extent, more of a modern phenomenon, by what’s taking place on the Internet, as you probably know. Solving the human trafficking epidemic, which is what it is, is a priority for my administration. We’re going to help out a lot. “Solve” is a wonderful word, a beautiful word, but I can tell you, we’re going to help a lot.

I’ll direct the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies that have a role in preventing human trafficking to take a hard look at the resources and personnel that they’re currently devoting to this fight. Now, they are devoting a lot, but we’re going to be devoting more.

Dedicated men and women across the federal government have focused on this for some time, as you know. A lot of you have been dealing with the federal government and it’s been much more focused over the last four weeks — I can tell you that. I cannot thank each of you enough, and the dedicated men and women who run my staff and your staffs in getting everybody together was terrific. I was so glad I was able to be here.

You start with really a tremendous amount of energy and blood, sweat and tears. Government can be helpful, but without you, nothing would happen. So, again, I want to thank everybody in this room. It’s a very, very terrible problem. It’s not talked about enough. People don’t know enough about it. And we’re going to talk about it, and we’re going to bring it out into the open and hopefully we’re going to do a great deal to help prevent some of the horrific — really horrific — crimes that are taking place.

And I can see — I really can say, in this country, people don’t realize how bad it is in this country, but in this country and all over the world. So thank you all for being here.

Thank you very much.

Now that you are aware


It is great to see people being politically aware and involved.    I thought I would share  what state legislatures are doing to solve critical problems.

Starting with Montana (from  This is not a joke. These are real bills, and they are currently taking priority in the Montana legislature over anything legitimate that would create jobs or help people afford healthcare.

1) Remove restrictions on the possession of domestically-bred foxes. HB 157 by Forrest Mandeville R-Columbus (Perhaps this is how Mandeville hunts for chickens.)

2) Impose a new tax on electric vehicles, to encourage more oil consumption, HB 205, Alan Redfield, R-Livingston. (Actual quote from bill co- sponsor: “Fuel efficiency has really impacted us negatively.”)

3) Allow state legislators (and only legislators) a special exemption to carry firearms in any government building, including schools and state prisons, by Randy Brodehl (R) Kalispell HB 280 (Does not apply to legislators who are sent to prison).

4) Ban Sharia law from Montana courts. SB 97 by Keith Regier (Regier believes there is no more pressing issue in Montana.)

5) Exempt sale of “homemade food” from all freshness, safety, cleanliness, and contamination standards. by Greg Hertz R-Polson HB 352 (Includes unsanitized aka “raw” milk, which also has its own separate bill. Finally someone is doing what it takes to advance jobs and economic development in our great state.)

6) Create a state militia and outfit them with uniforms. LC546 by Cary Smith R-Billings (Smith may be in talks with Hugo Boss, who made SS uniforms in the ’30s).

7) Lift nuclear ban so that reactor can be built in the Flathead Valley, next to Galcier National Park. by Derek Skees R-Kalispell LC2008 (Ideas of this caliber never die. See HB 326 from the 2011 session.)

8) Strike the word “fair” wherever it appears in landlord/tenant agreements for trailer homes, by Peggy Webb (R-Billings) HB 350

9) Exempt political ads by religious groups from campaign finance laws, by classifying them as “news reports.” LC0604 by David Howard (R-TEA Park City)

10) Give county sheriffs authority over the federal government in terror investigations. By Cary Smith R-Billings LC0512 (Don’t you feel safer already?)

11) Re-legalize the drinking of beer while riding in a car (the “road beer” bill), by Daniel Zolnikov, R-Billings, HB 206 (Montana ranka 3rd among states with most drunk driving deaths. Perhaps Zolnikov wants the number one spot.)

12) Eliminate the office of Commissioner of Political Practices, by Derek Skees (R-Kalispell) HB 340.(Skees might have been himself removed from office for his involvement in the Meth House Scandal, had not the statute of limitations expired shortly before the Commissioner of Political Practices began his prosecutions.)

13) Ban bicycles from all two-lane roads. by Barry Usher R-Roundup (Indeed Usher owns a motorcycle dealership. Hard to believe this world class idea has not been advanced before.) LC2196

14) Create new time zone known as “Montana Standard Time”, Ryan Osmondson, R-Buffalo, SB206

15) Allow “the possession of firearms on postal service property.” HB 246, by Randy Brodehl (At long last, Montanans will have more freedom to go postal.)

16) Prohibit dousing oneself with out-of-state deer urine, SB 173 Jill Cohenour, D-East Helena (In this case, it’s the necessity of banning said practice that’s nuts, not the bill.)

17) Increase the legislative branch budget by 16% while every branch or agency faces painful cuts. HB 1, by Nancy Ballance R-Bitterroot. (Branding their own caucus as blatant hypocrites is perhaps the sharpest move this bunch has ever made.)


19) HB 55 Vince Ricci “Require DPHHS to seek a waiver to prohibit using SNAP benefits for energy drinks – Classic republican solution in search of a problem because supplement labels on energy drinks already prevent energy drinks from SNAP purchase – which his fellow republican legislator pointed out during the bill hearing 😉 #jobcreation

20) HB 212 Jeff Essmann – This is just another good ol’ voter suppression bill trying to make it harder for elderly, disabled and low income folks to vote by making it illegal for us to pick up their ballots and take them to the elections office. There have been zero cases of ballot theft in Montana. #jobs #morejobs

21) HB 255 This was another solution in search of a problem trying to ban the use of the Governor’s plane from campaign use. The republican chair of the committee was quick to gavel down a dem woman questioning the validity of this garbage. #1stamendmentformenonly and #jobs.

22) SB 27 This bill looks like it provides a legislative reaction to the effective date of the medical marijuana ballot initiative start date ruling of the Supreme Court, but it does so much more – by naming and insulting the court that made the ruling – and ignoring the will of the people. #jobsjobsjobs




#dresslikeawoman orders were issued by this administration.    But what does that mean?  Scientist, athlete, space explorer, firefighter, soldier, mechanic, lawyer, nurse, leader, police officer, inventor, envelope pusher?



women-who-changed-history-52__700women-who-changed-history-32__700women-who-changed-history-10__700women-who-changed-history-39__700women-who-changed-history-30__700women-who-changed-history-431__700women-who-changed-history-16__700women-who-changed-history-25__700Jane with Uruhara pant-hooting, 1996.women-who-changed-history-35__700women-who-changed-history-42__700women-who-changed-history-4__700

Shall we dress like Belva Lockwood, the first woman admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court in 1879 a single mom who worked her way through college and ran for President?  Lockwood was nearly forty when she decided to study the law. She finally found a law school that would admit her, but even there her diploma was held up until she demanded action.

Belva Lockwood

Lockwood was admitted to the bar of the District of Columbia, but was refused admission to practice before the Supreme Court. She spent five years energetically lobbying a bill through Congress, and in 1879 Belva Lockwood became the first woman to practice law before the US Supreme Court.

In 1884 she accepted the nomination of the National Equal Rights Party and ran for president. Although suffrage leaders opposed her candidacy, Lockwood ran anyway. She polled over 4,000 votes and ran again in 1888.

Using her knowledge of the law, she worked to secure woman suffrage, property law reforms, equal pay for equal work, and world peace. Thriving on publicity and partisanship, and encouraging other women to pursue legal careers, Lockwood helped to open the legal profession to women.

Shall we #dresslikeawoman like Faye Glenn Abdellah, pioneer nursing researcher, helped transform nursing theory, nursing care and nursing education?  She was the first nurse officer to receive the rank of a two-star rear admiral and Deputy Surgeon General.

Her more than 150 publications, including her seminal works, Better Nursing Care Through Nursing Research and Patient-Centered Approaches to Nursing, changed the focus of nursing theory from a disease-centered to a patient-centered approach and moved nursing practice beyond the patient to include care of families and the elderly. Her Patient Assessment of Care Evaluation method to evaluate health care is now the stan

Faye Glenn Abdellah

dard for the nation. Her development of the first tested coronary care unit has saved thousands of lives.

Dr. Abdellah developed educational materials in many key areas of public health, including AIDS, the mentally handicapped, violence, hospice care, smoking cessation, alcoholism, and drug addiction. Dr. Abdellah, after teaching at several prestigious universities, founded the Graduate School of Nursing at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and served as the school’s first dean.

Or maybe #dresslikeawoman means to dress like Bessie Coleman?  She was the world’s first African American woman aviator who earned her pilot’s license in 1921 in France, two years before her more famous contemporary, Amelia Earhart.

Bessie Coleman

Bessie Coleman, the tenth child in a family of thirteen, grew up in a large, single-parent family in rural Texas. She learned about aviation through childhood reading, finished high school and some teacher’s college training, and moved to Chicago.  She was denied entry into flight school in the US.  So, she learned French and went to France. In 1921 she earned an international pilot’s license from the highly respected Federation Aeronautique International.

She returned to the United States and spent the next five years touring the country, giving exhibition flights, barnstorming and parachuting at airports.  She left a substantial legacy because of her modeling a pathway for women and people of color in aviation, and her challenges to Jim Crow practices.

Or how about Grace Hopper, a mathematics genius who pioneered COBAL and invented the phrase “computer bug”?


Hopper earned her B.A. in mathematics and physics from Vassar College and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale. Hopper began her professional career teaching mathematics at Vassar College, and remained there until the early 1940s.

In 1943, wanting to aid her country during World War II, Hopper joined the United States Navy. She was soon assigned to the Bureau of Ordnance Computation Project at Harvard University, where she began her legacy of groundbreaking computer programming with the Mark I, a precursor to electronic computers. Hopper became a faculty member at Harvard’s computation laboratory in 1946 and continued her programming work with the Mark II and Mark III computers.

The Mark I electromechanical computer was the early supercomputer that helped Manhattan Project scientists simulate the effects of an atomic bomb.  In 1947, a moth a got into a mechanical relay and jammed the system.  When Hopper removed it, she taped the moth into the team’s operational logbook with the caption “First actual case of bug being found:”

Computer Bug

Believing that a much wider audience could operate a computer if it was more user-friendly and more programmer-friendly, Hopper joined the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation (later the Sperry Corporation) in 1949. There, she worked on the UNIVAC I, the first commercial electronic computer.

In 1952, Hopper was credited with creating the first compiler for modern computers, a program that translates instructions written by a programmer into codes that can be read by a computer. Hopper went on to develop the FLOW-MATIC computer programming language (1957) and shortly after, pioneered the Common Business Oriented Language (COBOL).


As meme worthy as Einstein, she said:

A ship in port is safe, but this is not what ships are built for.  Sail out to sea and do new things.




#dresslikeawoman and take on the world.


Beth Klein Boulder Attorney Writes Resistance

Beth Klein Boulder Attorney

How to ensure that safety and health care is available, the environment is preserved, our universe explored, and people are treated equally are on the minds of many.   Does the answer lie in innovation?  Can we solve political and social problems and make petty politics irrelevant with technology and market forces?

1927 Orteig Prize, of $25,000 was offered by hotelier Raymond Orteig to spur tourism. Charles Lindbergh accepted the challenge and crossed the Atlantic in the Spirit of St. Louis. The $25,000 prize lead to a boom in air travel the world over.

In 1716 Longitude Prize sought technology to more accurately measure longitude at sea. Nearly 60 years later, a British clockmaker named John Harrison invented the chronometer, which spurred Trans-Atlantic migration.

In 1795, Napoleon offered a 12,000 franc prize for a better method of preserving food, to ensure that good food reached the front lines of his armies. The breakthrough innovation to Napoleon’s prize led to the creation of the canning industry.

On October 21, 2004, Scaled Composites’ SpaceShipOne reached the edge of space, an altitude of 100km, becoming the first privately built spacecraft to perform this feat, twice within two weeks.  In so doing, they won the $10 million Ansari XPRIZE, ushering in a new era of commercial space exploration and applications.

Currently the XPRIZE Foundation, offers prizes to solve the world’s Grand Challenges — ocean health, literacy, space exploration, cancer cures, water, food.

One sector is devoted to women’s safety.  Women’s Safety Xprize   The Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE challenges teams to leverage technology to keep women and communities safe.  The winning team’s solution will autonomously and inconspicuously trigger an emergency alert and transmit information to a network of community responders, all within 90 seconds and at an annual cost of US $40 or less. Teams will compete for a total prize purse of $1 million.  The Teams solve these problems with technology.


GETTING TO THE BOTTOM OF OUR OCEAN XPrize is a $7 million global competition challenging teams to push the boundaries of ocean technologies by creating solutions that advance the autonomy, scale, speed, depths and resolution of ocean exploration.  The success of this prize will allow us to fully explore and map the ocean floor, and uncover our planets greatest wonder and resource for the benefit of humanity. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s $1 million bonus prize will incentivize teams to develop technologies to detect the source of chemical and biological signals underwater.

Teams will compete in two rounds of testing that:

Must launch from shore or air and, with restricted human intervention, their entries will have limited number of hours to explore the competition area (at depths of 2000 and 4000 meters) to produce:

1. a high resolution bathymetric map
2. images of a specified object
3. identify archaeological, biological or geological features


ORGANOGENESIS is a prize development funded by UCLA. There is currently a shortage of available transplantable organs. Roughly 1 million organs are needed worldwide and in 2012, only 114,690 transplants were performed. Due to the lack of available organs for transplant, patients get caught in a “catch-22.” In order to place high enough on the organ waiting list, they must be one of the sickest patients, yet well enough to survive the transplant surgery. With immunological suppression, the median organ transplant survival rate is approximately nine years. While this survival period is often characterized by improved function and quality of life, chronic rejection eventually sets in for almost all patients, resulting in deteriorating health. These patients would potentially have better outcomes if they received transplants at an earlier stage in their disease.

The winning team will demonstrate the successful function of a bioengineered human tissue and/or human organ (heart, lung, liver or kidney). These demonstrations will be showcased in a bioreactor ($1 – $2 million purse for demonstrating a tissue or $10 million purse for demonstrating an organ) or via one or two successful in-human organ transplants ($30 million purse, $20 million purse respectively).

A $1 million Diversity Prize will be split among 16 Google Lunar XPRIZE teams, and that five teams have verified launch contracts and are moving forward to the final phase of the competition to land an unmanned spacecraft on the surface of the Moon.  NASA is being replaced by individual innovators working together.

All teams had until December 31, 2016 to have a verified launch contract in place.  Five teams are moving forward to the final phase of the competition:

  • SpaceIL (Israel), a non-profit organization, has secured a position on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Their goal is to make an educational impact and to create an “Apollo Effect” for the next generation in Israel.
  • Moon Express (USA), signed a multi-mission launch contract with Rocket Lab USA for three lunar missions by 2020. Their directive is to open up the Moon’s vast resources for humanity and establish new avenues for commercial space activities beyond Earth orbit.
  • Synergy Moon (International), team member Interorbital Systems will serve as the launch provider, using a NEPTUNE 8 rocket to carry a lunar lander and rover to the surface of the Moon. Synergy Moon is made of up individuals from over 15 countries, with a mission to make manned orbital travel, personal satellite launches and Solar System exploration cost effective and accessible.
  • TeamIndus (India), signed a commercial launch contract aboard the Indian Space Research Organization’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). TeamIndus’ spacecraft is designed to nestle inside the nosecone of the PSLV and will launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
  • HAKUTO (Japan), signed a rideshare agreement to have TeamIndus carry its four-wheeled rover to the Moon. Hakuto’s ultimate target is to explore holes that are thought to be caves or ‘skylights’ into underlying lava tubes, for the first time in history, which could lead to important scientific discoveries and possibly identifying long-term habitats to shield humans from the Moon’s hostile environment.

This week a human-pig embryo was developed, and organs were grown in host animals.

What if abortion was unnecessary?  What if fossil fuels faded into the past?  What if healthcare was delivered so that everyone had access to well-being?

Stanford researchers disclosed that they have developed algorithms to detect over 300 patterns of skin cancer that diagnose conditions as effectively as dermatologists.  The diagnosis of skin cancers always begin with a visual assessment. Now artificial intelligence has the ability to do that job.  Moving the technology forward, researchers are developing apps for phones to diagnose cancer.

Already pathologists run horrifying Instagram accounts to assist in the diagnosis of health issues and causes of death.  Alicia Potters and Nicole Angemi have forwarded diagnostics with their accounts. Ms. Potters works as an assistant at a pathology lab in Florida. The lab gets tumors, body parts, and human remains from doctors who hope the pathologists and their assistants will identify the maladies plaguing patients—or, more often, their cause of death.

Potters had to investigate why a woman miscarried her fetus at around 12 weeks.  All Potters had to go on was the woman’s tiny fetus which was about half the length of an adult’s pinky finger. In dissection Potters found malformed intestines and that part of the fetus’s brain was missing. Potters took a photo of the fetus with her smartphone and later sent it to Ms. Angemi, a pathologist assistant more than 1,000 miles away in New Jersey. Angemi then posted it to her Instagram feed, which has half a million followers.

A physician based photosharing system, Figure1 is also available and HIPAA compliant.  Instagram is not required to comply with HIPAA because it doesn’t work directly with hospitals, but it strips all metadata from images.  The power of sharing is evident.  There’s @MedicalTalks, which has 724,000 fans.

NASA released all of its research for free to the world.  Wikileaks dumped data on climate change this morning.  Taking references off of is not going to stop the exchange of information to save the planet; it will make the Whitehouse irrelevant in the solution. No seat at the table.

Innovations and disruptors are us.  And perhaps we need not rely upon the petty politicians and their vanity and whim to solve problems only when they can take credit. Taking down information on government websites is not going to stop people from creating solutions or making the issues of Trump irrelevant.trump-cover-final