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The “Chevron Doctrine” and How an Upcoming U.S. Supreme Court Decision May Change the Way Federal Environmental Regulations are Written and Challenged in Court
January 24, 2024 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Two cases are before the U.S. Supreme Court this term that could radically reshape the way federal environmental regulations are written and are challenged in court.
The U.S. Supreme Court is considering the validity of the “Chevron Doctrine,” which for almost forty years has required judges to defer to federal agencies’ expertise used to interpret vague statutory language. As the Court said in a 2014 opinion upholding power plant emissions requirements, “under Chevron, we read Congress’ silence as a delegation of authority to EPA to select among reasonable options.” Several Justices currently on the Court have criticized Chevron, arguing that the doctrine improperly takes away decision-making power from judges and gives it to “bureaucrats,” as Justice Gorsuch said in a recent dissent. Last summer the Court held that regulations with broad impacts cannot be grounded in vague provisions in a statute. With the Loper Bright and Relentless cases this term, the Court could eliminate or revise the Chevron Doctrine and sharply reduce judicial deference to agency scientific and technical expertise. When the Chevron cases are considered alongside other cases before the Court, this term could result in sweeping changes to the way federal environmental requirements are established and enforced.
Oral arguments in Loper Bright and Relentless are scheduled for January 17, 2024. As a result, this webinar will provide an early assessment of what is at stake, potential outcomes, and impressions from the Supreme Court arguments.