The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Christopher Schuler,

Sierra Club Condemns U.S. Supreme Court Decision to Overturn Fundamental Precedent in Chevron

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, overturning the Chevron doctrine, a long-standing principle that allowed agencies to interpret the laws that they implement—from those ensuring clean air and water, to those governing telecommunications and medical safety—and required courts to defer to their reasonable interpretations. That doctrine recognized that Congress has entrusted technical and policy judgments critical to protecting the public to agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency—democratically answerable to the President and legally required to respond to the public’s concerns—rather than federal judges. As Justice Kagan noted in dissent: “In one fell swoop, the majority today gives itself exclusive power over every open issue—no matter how expertise-driven or policy-laden—involving the meaning of regulatory law,” turning “itself into the country’s administrative czar” from “workplace safety” to “climate change” to “student loans.”

In response, Ben Jealous, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, released the following statement:

“The Supreme Court majority just asserted a power-grab that will give unelected judges more room to indulge their own policy preferences, and to override the considered judgment of public servants with the scientific and technical knowledge, experience, and accountability required to protect the public from corporate exploitation. Their decision will imperil the ability of the federal government to protect our air, water, and health, tackle the climate crisis, and enact the commonsense safeguards of our bedrock public-interest laws. This radical decision is yet another example of our nation’s highest court moving our country backwards, while Americans everywhere work for a better future. We will continue to aggressively pursue the urgent action needed to protect our health, the climate, and our future.”

The Sierra Club is the most enduring and influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. We amplify the power of our 3.8 million members and supporters to defend everyone's right to a healthy world.

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