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U.S. Supreme Court Hears New Jersey, Rhode Island Fishing Cases Challenging Agency Powers

January 20, 2024 |

Credit: Image by Mark Thomas from Pixabay

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments this week in two cases that could severely weaken the power of administrative agencies to set regulations. 

The cases, coming from New Jersey and Rhode Island-based herring fishing enterprises, initially challenged a Commerce Department rule requiring fishermen to pay for federal monitors aboard their boats. 

But the arguments Wednesday dealt almost entirely with “Chevron deference,” a principle giving wide latitude to federal agencies to write regulations that the high court established in the 1984 case Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council.

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NJ SEED: A case brought by NJ’s commercial fishing industry is joined with a similar case out of Rhode Island. The court’s decision could have impacts far beyond commercial fishing. At stake is what is known as the “Chevron Deference” that has allowed the courts to defer to the “expertise” of administrative rule-makers when crafting rules for the implementation of statutes. Administrative rules survive court challenges an overwhelming percentage of the time due to the Chevron principle.

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