Supreme Court Sabotages Progress, Deals Blow to Digital Equality, Environmental Protection, and Right to Fix

    Published on:

    The Supreme Court Just Struck a Blow to the Administrative State. Here’s What It Means.

    For decades, the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) has governed how federal agencies make and enforce regulations. But last week, the Supreme Court delivered a stunning blow to the administrative state, overturning the Chevron doctrine and rendering many federal regulations vulnerable to legal challenges. Here’s what it means and why you should care.

    What is Chevron deference?

    Chevron deference is a legal doctrine that gives federal agencies wide latitude to interpret ambiguous laws and regulations. In the 1984 case of Chevron USA, Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Supreme Court established that courts should defer to agency expertise and interpretation, rather than overrule them, when there’s ambiguity in a statute. This allowed agencies to set rules and regulations without judicial interference, streamlining the regulatory process and enabling the government to respond quickly to changing circumstances.

    Why does this matter?

    The overturning of Chevron deference will have far-reaching consequences for federal agencies, regulatory issues, and even the tech industry. With Chevron deference gone, federal agencies will face increased scrutiny and judicial intervention in their regulatory decisions. This means:

    1. Slower decision-making: Agencies will be forced to go back to the drawing board, reevaluating and rewriting regulations to ensure they meet judicial muster. This will lead to delays and a more cumbersome regulatory process.
    2. Uncertainty and unpredictability: With Chevron deference gone, there’s no clear guidance on how to interpret laws and regulations. This will create uncertainty and unpredictability, making it harder for companies and individuals to navigate the regulatory landscape.
    3. Increased litigation: As agencies struggle to adapt to the new legal landscape, expect an uptick in legal challenges to their decisions. This will clog the courts with regulatory disputes, further slowing the regulatory process.
    4. Impact on industries: Industries that rely heavily on regulatory certainty, such as tech and healthcare, may face disruptions and uncertainty as they navigate the new landscape.
    5. Empowerment of the judiciary: With Chevron deference gone, the courts will have more influence over regulatory decisions, potentially leading to a more conservative or activist judiciary.

    The implications for specific issues

    1. Right to repair: The Copyright Office’s rulemaking process, which has granted exemptions for the right to repair and other uses, may face increased scrutiny and judicial intervention.
    2. Copyright and patent law: The death of Chevron deference may lead to increased challenges to patent and copyright decisions, potentially altering the landscape of intellectual property law.
    3. Climate change and environmental regulations: Federal agencies will face increased pressure to justify their regulations, potentially slowing the pace of action on climate change and other environmental issues.


    The overturning of Chevron deference marks a significant shift in the balance of power between federal agencies and the judiciary. While this change may lead to increased accountability and transparency, it also poses significant challenges for regulatory agencies and the industries they regulate. As the dust settles, we’ll likely see a more complicated and contentious regulatory landscape, with far-reaching consequences for the country.

    Source link


    Leave a Reply

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here