The Robert’s Supreme Court flips Chevron

What Chief Justice Roberts is saying is the justices know more than the scientists and engineers know. This was done in a decision which the agency experts immediately criticized. The issue being potentially undermining decisions by scientists and the very same agency experts.

The 6-3 and 6-2 decisions brought by fishing operators in New Jersey and Rhode Island challenged a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration rule. The court’s ruling overturned the principle known as Chevron deference.

Laughable, the court’s six conservatives reasoned courts “routinely confront statutory ambiguities” that have nothing to do with the authority of regulatory agencies. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion.

“Of course, when faced with a statutory ambiguity in such a case, the ambiguity is not a delegation to anybody, and a court is not somehow relieved of its obligation to independently interpret the statute.”

So suddenly, Roberts and the justices are the experts now.

Why You Should Be Concerned About Loper Bright

by Joyce Vance

Civil Discourse 

 The decision in Loper Bright v. Raimondo, handed down on Friday, will have a direct impact on all of our lives. It will upend agency regulations that are used to implement federal law. That sounds dry and far away from our daily lives. But it’s not.

The administrative state, which conservatives have spent decades attacking, has operated since the Chevron decision in 1984 on the basic premise that Congress passes laws and agencies issue regulations that implement them. What happened when a regulated entity didn’t like an agency’s decision? They could sue.

The longstanding Chevron deference doctrine required courts to defer to agency action when the law was ambiguous and the agency’s view was reasonable. That came to an end on Friday, when Chief Justice Roberts wrote for the majority in no uncertain terms,

Chevron is overruled.”

After Loper Bright, it’s up to the courts. Judges need no longer defer to subject matter experts at a federal agency after the Supreme Court wrote the experts have “no special competence” and decided courts were better suited to make these decisions. The conservative majority wrote:

Slight issue here. Judges may know(?) the law. The technological expertise and the knowledge lies with the agencies. There always was a remedy to agency rules. There is no remedy to court rulings. In the end, citizens an businesses lose.

Liberal groups and elected Democrats worried the reversal will strip agencies of the power to enact strong regulatory safeguards across a broad spectrum of issues, especially climate and environmental regulations.

“It weakens our government’s ability to protect us from the climate crisis, threats to worker safety, public health, clean air and water, safe medicines and food, a sound financial system, and more,” Manish Bapna, president of the environmental group NRDC Action Fund, wrote in a statement.

“Today’s reckless but unsurprising decision from this far-right court is a triumph for corporate polluters that seek to dismantle common-sense regulations protecting clean air, clean water, and a livable climate future,” Wenonah Hauter, the executive director of the advocacy group Food & Water Watch, said in a statement.

Rachel Weintraub, the executive director of the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards, a group that advocates for strong federal regulations, said in an interview before the decision was released the Chevron  deference has allowed a host of regulations affecting consumer safety, labor, environmental protections, and other issues.

“The important role that government plays in ensuring the health and safety of our families and the fairness of our markets could be undermined here,” she said.

The ruling takes power away from the experts on a particular subject of a federal regulation – traffic engineers at the Department of Transportation, disease experts at the Food and Drug Administration, or scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency, for example – and gives it to the federal judiciary (which know little) Weintraub said.