Supreme Court overturns Chevron, limiting the authority of government agencies

Supreme Court overturns Chevron, limiting the authority of government agencies

On Friday, the Supreme Court overturned four decades of precedent and rejected a legal doctrine that had assisted both Republican and Democratic agencies in defending their regulations in court.

Chief Justice John Roberts led a 6-3 majority that supported conservative lawyers arguing that the Chevron theory, which holds that courts should accept reasonable interpretations of vague acts by government agencies, is no longer a reliable source of precedent. The three liberal justices of the court disagreed.

The Supreme Court’s recent decisions in Loper Bright v. Raimondo and Relentless v. Commerce are among a number of decisions that have limited the ability of the Biden administration and upcoming White Houses to enact strong federal regulations to combat climate change and preserve the environment.

Though some conservative justices sounded reluctant to entirely invalidate the concept, the court had seemed ready to undermine it during oral arguments in January. A legal battle over a NOAA Fisheries regulation requiring herring vessels to pay the salaries of onboard monitors to combat overfishing gave rise to Loper Bright and Relentless.

Lower benches continue to use the concept to support federal regulations, as they did with the NOAA Fisheries rule at issue in Loper Bright and Relentless, notwithstanding Chevron’s decline in favor with the conservative-dominated Supreme Court during the past ten years.

In the Loper Bright case, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson did not take part. As a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, she participated in the proceedings.

 

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