Supreme Court Will Hear a Second Case Challenging the Chevron Doctrine
Foundational Precedent Protects Millions from a Wide Variety of Harms
(Washington, D.C. – October 13, 2023) The U.S. Supreme Court today announced that it will hear two cases this term challenging a long-established legal framework that serves a critical role in protecting people from health and environmental dangers.
In both cases, petitioners are asking the High Court to reconsider the Chevron doctrine, the decades-old legal precedent that requires courts to defer to Executive Branch agencies’ experience, reasoned decision-making, and expertise in administering laws Congress has given the agencies responsibility to carry out.
“At stake is a foundational legal principle that our nation depends on to protect millions of people from climate pollution, consumer fraud, and destruction of our fisheries, and to ensure clean air, clean water, safe food and work places, and civil rights, among other safeguards. Respecting this long-standing precedent is vital for protecting the public from a wide variety of harms so that all people can thrive.”
- Vickie Patton, General Counsel for Environmental Defense Fund
The Supreme Court agreed has now agreed to hear two cases – Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo (S.Ct. 22-451) and Relentless Inc. v. Department of Commerce (S.CT. 22-1219) – that each challenge the Chevron doctrine. The cases will be heard together this January.
EDF has filed an filed an amicus curiae, or “friend of the court,” brief in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimond.
The Chevron doctrine takes its name from a 1984 case, Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. (467 U.S. 837), which addressed the proper standards for courts to apply in reviewing agency decisions that depend on interpreting acts of Congress. Chevron holds that, so long as federal agencies stay within the clear bounds of the law, the courts must respect the agencies’ expertise and their reasonable interpretations of federal laws. It has been relied on by the Supreme Court itself in scores of cases, and by lower courts in thousands of cases, and has long provided a clear background rule for Congress, the Executive Branch, and the public.
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