“The Supreme Court’s decision ensures that courts, not bureaucrats, say what the law is.”

—John Masslon, WLF Senior Litigation Counsel

WASHINGTON, DC—The U.S. Supreme Court today vacated a D.C. Circuit decision that deferred to the National Marine Fisheries Service’s statutory interpretation. This was welcome news for WLF, which joined the Independent Women’s Law Center in filing an amicus brief urging the Court to require that courts perform the solemn task of saying what the law is. The brief was authored by attorneys at Schaerr | Jaffe LLP.

As WLF’s brief detailed, agencies frequently encroach on the legislative and judicial powers by wielding the Chevron sword. Recently, agencies have tried to rewrite the federal student loan program, attempted to bar landlords from collecting rent on their properties, and forced workers nationwide to receive a vaccine. Each time, a regulatory agency far exceeded its statutory powers because it felt emboldened by Chevron.

WLF’s brief also explained the devastating consequences that regulation has on small and women-owned businesses. Large businesses can shoulder the costs of increased regulation because they have in-house counsel and large compliance programs. Small businesses, however, face disproportionately higher costs when they attempt to comply with regulatory requirements. And many of the smaller owned businesses in America are owned by women. Allowing agencies to use Chevron deference, therefore, hurt these businesses because they were unable to handle the increased regulatory costs.

Celebrating its 47th year, WLF is America’s premier public-interest law firm and policy center advocating for free-market principles, limited government, individual liberty, and the rule of law.