May 8, 2023

Supreme Court Will Reconsider Federal Agencies’ Regulatory Power

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear a case challenging “The Chevron Doctrine,” a court precedent dating back to 1984 that gave more power to federal agencies by establishing a test to determine whether a federal agency regulation is lawful.

Under that doctrine, a court must first determine whether Congress “has directly spoken to the precise question at issue.” If Congress has been clear, that ends the matter and the court must go with Congress’ clear intention. If the law is ambiguous or silent, however, the court must defer to the agency and uphold its action if it was “based on a permissible construction of the statute.”

The new case that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear asks the court directly to overturn the precedent. Depending on how the judges rule, The Hill said, “That decision could have wide-ranging impacts that scale back the executive branch’s authority to implement certain environment, employment, drug and other regulations.”

The court is expected to hear arguments in the matter in the fall or winter of this year and to make a ruling some time in 2024.

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