07/01/2024 - Federal Policy Analysis - Supreme Court Decisions

Supreme Court Decision Affecting Agency Rulemakings

On June 28, The U.S. Supreme Court overturned a 1984 decision known as the Chevron doctrine.

The Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases, Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce, challenging a federal rule that requires commercial fishing vessels to pay for the onboard observers who monitor their catches.

These cases questioned whether judges should defer to agencies’ interpretation of gaps and ambiguities in the laws they implement under the Chevron doctrine. The decision to overturn the doctrine will have significant implications for federal regulators.

Jody Freeman, Harvard Law professor and EELP founding director, Andy Mergen, HLS visiting professor and director of the Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, and others have been answering questions the potential impact of the Supreme Court’s decision.


US Supreme Court Building

CleanLaw Podcast—Suite of Supreme Court Decisions Undermine Administrative Law (EELP)

Supreme Court Overturns Chevron Doctrine, Expands Power of Judiciary (EELP summary of the decision)

‘Massive power grab’ by SCOTUS ‘throws out decades of established law’ (MSNBC)
The ruling “disrespects both the Congress and the Executive branch — amassing power for the court itself,” says Jody Freeman, an administrative law professor and Director of the Environmental and Energy Law program at Harvard Law School.

The far-reaching implications of the Supreme Court’s decision curbing regulatory power (PBS News Hour)
The Supreme Court has swept aside long-standing legal precedent in its ruling overturning the Chevron doctrine, majorly curtailing the power of federal agencies to interpret the laws they regulate. The decision is expected to have far-reaching implications on everything from the environment to healthcare. Geoff Bennett took a closer look with Andrew Mergen.

The Supreme Court overruled decades of administrative law. What happens now? (NPR)
Jody Freeman on what the Supreme Court’s overturning of the Chevron case means for how federal agencies can regulate.

After Roe v Wade, Supreme Court overturns another major legal precedent (NPR)
Andrew Mergen answers questions about the Supreme Court’s decision to overrule the Chevron doctrine.

A Key Court Ruling Could Weaken U.S. Environmental Protections (Yale Environment 360)

What will it mean for policymaking on environmental and other issues if the U.S. Supreme Court jettisons the Chevron doctrine? Jody Freeman breaks down the potential impacts.

Jody Freeman and Andrew Mergen, Reply to David French, Undoing ‘Chevron’ Would Duly Shift Power Back to Congress
Jody Freeman and Andrew Mergen’s response to New York Times columnist David French, who argued in a recent column that the Supreme Court should overrule Chevron v. NRDC when it decides Loper Bright v. Raimondo and Relentless v. Dept. of Commerce.

Op-Ed: Will the Supreme Court Show a Little Humility? (New York Times)
Jody Freeman and Andrew Mergen wrote an op-ed on how two cases recently argued before the Supreme Court could restrict the authority of federal agencies and upend decades of precedent.

‘Chevron deference’ faces existential test (Harvard Gazette)
Jody Freeman explains why the Supreme Court is revisiting Chevron deference after 40 years and the potential implications for regulators.

CleanLaw: Harvard Environmental & Energy Law · Ep 88: Loper Bright and the fate of Chevron with Jody Freeman and Andy Mergen

CleanLaw Podcast: The Loper Bright Case and Fate of the Chevron Doctrine with Jody Freeman and Andy Mergen
Jody Freeman and Andy Mergen discuss a case before the US Supreme Court this fall, Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, in which petitioners have asked the Court to overrule the Chevron doctrine — a legal doctrine that governs when a court should defer to an agency’s interpretation of a law. The case arises under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, which authorizes requiring commercial fishing vessels to carry onboard observers but doesn’t specify that the fishermen should pay for those observers.


More In the News

Case over fishing law could hamstring the SEC and DOL (Investment News)

Jody Freeman: Supreme Court herring fishermen case ‘about power’ (NewsNation)

The Relentless Attack on Government as We Know It (Broken Law Podcast)

Why a Supreme Court decision on fishing boats could change everything (The Verge)

‘Fisherman’s Blues’ Could Lead Supreme Court to Overturn Chevron (Bloomberg Law)

How a Fishery Case Fits Into a Long-Game Effort to Sap Regulation of Business (New York Times)

A Supreme Court Poised to Gut the Administrative State (KPFA)

A Potentially Huge Supreme Court Case Has a Hidden Conservative Backer (New York Times)