Supreme Court Ruling Could See Environmental Protections Stripped

2 Landmark Supreme Court Cases Impacting the Power of the Presidency

( – The Supreme Court has recently revealed its intention to look over a case that carries substantial implications for federal agencies’ authority, particularly when it comes to environmental regulations.

In the upcoming term, the justices will evaluate whether to overturn a long-established precedent that has conferred deference upon agencies when Congress leaves statutory language ambiguous.

This doctrine, which is known as the Chevron deference, derives its name from the Supreme Court’s decision in Chevron USA v Natural Resources Defense Council, a landmark ruling in administrative law since its issuance in 1984.

Certain conservative justices on the high court have voiced reservations regarding this precedent, citing concerns about its expansion of agencies’ jurisdiction.

Now, the Supreme Court has elected to consider a case directly challenging this precedent, indicating that at least four justices agree that it should be reviewed. The case centers on Loper Bright Enterprises, a herring fishing company, contesting a judgment that upheld a regulation imposed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on Chevron principles.

The regulation stipulates that herring fishing vessels must accommodate a federal observer for supervisory purposes and provide compensation for their time. Loper Bright Enterprises contends that this regulation significantly erodes their profit margins and contends that the agency lacked the requisite authorization for its enforcement.

Despite this, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled in favor of the federal government, citing the ambiguity of the pertinent law and, consequently, deferring to the NMFS.

Legal representatives acting on behalf of Loper Bright Enterprises have asserted in their court submissions that even with 40 years of court experience with Chevron, they have showed that the Judicial system in general does not apply the Chevron two-step framework consistently.

If federal agencies are allowed to consistently monitor the actions of fishermen and their enterprises, it means that the standards of environmental protection regarding their work also fall under federal authority.

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