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Predicted Lawsuit Flood From Chevron Ruling May Fall Short

Predictions of a flood of lawsuits after the Supreme Court’s June ruling overturning the 40-year-old High Court preference favoring federal bureaucrats over judges in regulatory fights may fall short. Media reporting following the Supreme Court’s overturning of the 1984 Chevron decision has largely predicted a flood of environmental and other lawsuits.

But farm and business groups buoyed by the decision see a more limited impact given Chief Justice Roberts’s cautionary note that the ruling does “not call into question prior cases that relied on Chevron. National Cattlemen’s Chief Counsel Mary Thomas Hart said; “The number of rulemakings that could be subject to litigation if you just opened it up like that, it would clog the entire court system, right? We wouldn’t get anything productive done for the next ten or 15 years because there would be this constant consideration of every rule that’s been finalized since 1984.”

That includes everything from WOTUS to pesticides to clean air rules, though some recent mileage and tailpipe emission rules favoring electric vehicles are or may get challenged.

Iowa Senator and longtime biofuels advocate Chuck Grassley said “I don’t think every one of them is going to be challenged, but some of them could be challenged, and I think they could be thrown out as a result of Chevron.”

Grassley adds that the Supreme Court ruling is a “slap at Congress” that lawmakers need to write laws that are “more specific.” NCBA’s Hart complains Chevron allowed the Environmental Protection Agency to reinterpret Congress’ vague WOTUS statute 14 times.

The Supreme Court finally stepped in and said ‘enough,’ directing a wetland must have an observable connection to navigable water before the EPA could require a permit for its use.

Story by Matt Kaye/Berns Bureau; courtesy of NAFB News Service

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