Written by 01:18 Business

Supreme Court’s Chevron Ruling Limits Power of Federal Agencies

The Supreme Court on Friday reduced the power of executive agencies by sweeping aside a longstanding legal precedent, endangering countless regulations and transferring power from the executive branch to Congress and the courts.

The precedent, Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the most cited in American law, requires courts to defer to agencies’ reasonable interpretations of ambiguous statutes. There have been 70 Supreme Court decisions relying on Chevron, along with 17,000 in the lower courts.

The decision is all but certain to prompt challenges to the actions of an array of federal agencies, including those regulating the environment, health care and consumer safety.

The vote was 6 to 3, dividing along ideological lines.

“Chevron is overruled,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority. “Courts must exercise their independent judgment in deciding whether an agency has acted within its statutory authority.”

In dissent, Justice Elena Kagan said the ruling amounted to a judicial power grab. “A rule of judicial humility,” she wrote, “gives way to a rule of judicial hubris.”

Justice Kagan summarized her dissent from the bench, a rare move and a sign of profound disagreement. “Courts, in particular this court, will now play a commanding role” in setting national policy, she said.

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Last modified: 3 July 2024
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