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Supreme Court curtails deference to federal agencies

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In a decision released last week, the Supreme Court overruled, by a 6 to 3 vote, their landmark decision in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council. That 1984 decision gave rise to the doctrine known as the Chevron doctrine, under which federal agencies would receive deference for their interpretation of a statute, as long as it was reasonable. Last week's decision rejected the Chevron doctrine, saying it is “fundamentally misguided.”

The Chevron doctrine has been used over the years to uphold various administration policies from both Democratic and Republican administration, and has been citied 18,000 over the last 40 years. Without it, agency policies are more likely to be overturned, leading to more frequent changes in policy and less certainty and stability for the regulated communities - whether than be industry, researchers, or others. 

Read more about the decision here.

Read the justices' opinion here

Read about the effects on the decision on conservation, from Audubon, here


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