Written by 04:26 Business

Supreme Court Extends Time Frame for Challenges to Regulations

The Supreme Court on Monday gave companies more time to challenge many regulations, ruling that a six-year statute of limitations for filing lawsuits begins when a regulation first affects a company rather than when it is first issued.

The ruling in the case — the latest in a series of challenges to administrative power this term — could amplify the effect of the blockbuster decision last week overturning a foundational legal precedent known as Chevron deference, which required federal courts to defer to agencies’ reasonable interpretations of ambiguous statutes. That decision imperils countless regulations, particularly on the environment, and advances a longstanding goal of the conservative legal movement.

The vote was 6 to 3, split along ideological lines. Justice Amy Coney Barrett, writing for the conservative majority, rejected the government’s argument that the time limit to sue begins when an agency issues a rule.

Under the government’s view, she wrote, “only those fortunate enough to suffer an injury within six years of a rule’s promulgation” could sue. She added, “Everyone else — no matter how serious the injury or how illegal the rule — has no recourse.”

In dissent, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote that the decision, along with the case overturning Chevron, Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, was an assault on the power of administrative agencies. She was joined by the court’s other liberals, Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

“At the end of a momentous term,” Justice Jackson wrote, “this much is clear: The tsunami of lawsuits against agencies that the court’s holdings in this case and Loper Bright have authorized has the potential to devastate the functioning of the federal government.”

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Last modified: 5 July 2024
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