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June 28th, 2024
Grijalva Statement on SCOTUS Decision to Eliminate Chevron Deference, Do Bidding of Industry Billionaires

WASHINGTON – House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today issued the following statement on today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS), to eliminate Chevron deference. The decision fulfills a longstanding policy goal of polluting and otherwise harmful industries that has been championed by industry billionaire Charles Koch.

“Today’s decision is a massive gift from the Court’s extreme, right-wing majority to themselves and to polluters, the Koch brothers, and all their industry billionaire friends,” said Ranking Member Grijalva. “For 40 years, Congress has passed laws with the understanding that the interpretation of those laws is for the courts, but the implementation laid in the hands of the scientific and policy career experts at our federal agencies. But now, thanks to this extremist power-grab, our most fundamental protections will be at the whim of individual judges — many of whom are far-right ideologues — regardless of their lack of expertise or political agenda.”

“SCOTUS’ overruling of Chevron is a product of the corporate greed that continues to manipulate and twist our legal and political systems to its liking. As long as industry’s preferred politicians are on the Court, without any real ethics requirements, we can expect decision-making to continue to serve the favored few rather than the best interest of the American people. I am sadly not surprised that the conservative supermajority made this decision, but I am deeply disturbed by the path they are willing to send us down.”

Additional Background

Chevron deference refers to SCOTUS’ 1984 decision in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, which recognized that when Congress leaves ambiguity — whether intended or not — in the laws it passes, courts should defer to the federal agencies’ valid interpretation of those laws. Federal agencies are appropriate for this role given their ample subject matter expertise and their accountability to the American people through congressional oversight and presidential elections.

In the 40 years since it was articulated, Chevron deference has been one of the most fundamental and stabilizing hallmarks of U.S. law and regulations. Eliminating Chevron deference will reshape American law across the board, from clean air and water protections to workplace safety to pharmaceutical guidelines. It creates an opportunity for industry to ask extremist judges to rewrite the rules and regulations that protect Americans, enabling industry to operate more recklessly and make profits more easily.

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