Ag Interests Pleased with Chevron Doctrine Reversal

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Last week’s Supreme Court decision that reversed the Chevron defense is being welcomed as good news for the nation’s agriculture industry.

“Farm Bureau applauds the U.S. Supreme Court for recognizing the damage Chevron deference has caused to the federal government’s balance of power,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “The Constitution built a system of checks and balances among three branches of government, to prevent any one branch from becoming too powerful. The legislative branch creates the laws, the executive branch enforces the laws, and the judicial branch interprets the laws. Chevron deference created a super-branch of government.”

AFBF deputy general counsel Travis Cushman says the most important takeaway from the case is a restored balance of power at the federal level. “The key is that agencies will no longer be able to say how much power they have. What previously happened is courts would defer to agencies for an agency’s interpretation of its power, and, after this decision, courts will now be the ones to decide that. Not the agencies themselves,” said Cushman. “So many regulations that we believe–whether it’s USDA, EPA, Labor–push the bounds of what Congress intended, and this will force those agencies to really evaluate how much authority they have to regulate and allow us to challenge them when they’ve gone too far.”

Agricultural Retailers Association President & CEO Daren Coppock says the decision is important because it will require an agency to have specific statutory authority in order to submit private citizens or businesses to a regulatory requirement. “For the past 40 years, the Chevron doctrine has provided an opportunity for federal regulatory agencies to expand their regulations beyond the intent of Congress. If Congress was not specific in limiting an agency’s authority in statute, Chevron provided deference to the agency in interpreting its own authorizing statute,” said Coppock. “For our member companies who operate under these regulations, the clarity and certainty that result from this change are very valuable.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) says the ruling reaffirms the founding principle that the judiciary, not the executive bureaucracy, must exercise its constitutional duty to faithfully interpret the law.

“The Supreme Court has made clear that we are a nation governed by the rule of law, not by bureaucratic regulators,” said Grassley in a statement. “Congress will now be under extreme pressure to be more specific when writing legislation, so that a bill’s plain text can be clearly interpreted by the courts and federal agencies when legislation becomes law. This decision brings enhanced accountability to Congress and the executive branch.”

AFBF, Ag Groups, ARA

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