BREAKING: Supreme Court in a 6-3 Vote Overturns ‘Chevron Doctrine,’ Limiting the Power of the Federal Government

The Supreme Court, with a 6-3 vote, overturned the Chevron deference, a bureaucracy-empowering judicial doctrine that critics say led to the explosive growth of the U.S. government in recent decades.

Chief Justice John Roberts authored the majority opinion in the case decided on June 28. Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Brown Jackson issued dissenting opinions.

The doctrine, invented by judges 40 years ago, states that an agency’s interpretation of a statute it administers should be respected unless Congress specifies otherwise.

The doctrine forms a legal basis for the modern administrative state, criticized by some as an unauthorized fourth branch of government.

In the landmark ruling in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council in 1984, the court held that while courts “must give effect to the unambiguously expressed intent of Congress,” where courts find Congress has not directly addressed the precise question at issue and “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.”

Conservatives and Republican lawmakers have consistently criticized the doctrine, arguing that it has fueled government expansion and granted unelected regulators excessive authority to shape policy beyond congressional intent in passing various laws. In recent years, the Supreme Court has increasingly questioned the power of regulatory agencies.

Opponents argue that the Chevron doctrine empowers a proactive federal government to address public needs in a complex world, bypassing the need for specific congressional approval on every issue.

The new ruling came in two related cases that the court heard on Jan. 17: Relentless Inc. v. Department of Commerce and Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo.

The current cases trace back to 2020 when the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its National Marine Fisheries Service enacted a final rule requiring fishing companies to cover the costs of human monitors on their vessels.

The companies argued that the cost of paying for the monitors created a financial burden that greatly reduced their profit margins.

On January 17, attorney Roman Martinez of Relentless Inc. told the justices that Chevron deference should be overturned. “For too long, Chevron has distorted the judicial process and undermined statutory interpretation,” he asserted.

“Chevron violates the Constitution. Article III empowers judges to say what the law is … [and] to interpret federal statutes using their best and independent judgment. Chevron undermines that duty. It reallocates interpretive authority from courts to agencies, and it forces courts to adopt inferior agency constructions that are issued for political or policy reasons,” he continued.

“In doing so, Chevron blocks judges from serving as faithful agents of Congress. It mandates judicial bias and encourages agency overreach, and by removing key checks on executive power, it threatens individual liberty,” he added.

U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar argued that overturning the Chevron deference would create upheaval and result in “endless litigation.”

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“Thousands of judicial decisions sustaining an agency’s rulemaking or adjudication as reasonable would be open to challenge, and that profound disruption is especially unwarranted because Congress could modify or overrule the Chevron framework at any time,” she said at the time.

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By Hunter Fielding
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;^)
;^)
20 days ago

Maybe we weren’t taught this in school, but the ENTIRE CONSTITUTION was intended to limit the power of the Federal government!
It’s about time the Swamp’s free-for-all was ended!

Sandra Smith
Sandra Smith
20 days ago

Unelected bureaucrats should NEVER be permitted to formulate policy!

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