John Cruden Quoted in Inside EPA on Potential Supreme Court Case Impacts on Administrative Law Precedent

Inside EPA

Inside EPA quoted Principal John Cruden (Washington, DC) on current and upcoming Supreme Court cases that may upend longstanding administrative law precedent. John stated, "this term has several blockbuster cases that have the potential for radically changing administrative law requirements." John discussed these developments in, "Court’s ‘Blockbuster’ Cases Could ‘Radically Change’ Administrative Law."

He added, “If we have learned anything from the court’s [2022] decision in West Virginia v. EPA, invalidating the Clean Power Plan and reinvigorating the Major Questions doctrine, this court is not shy about taking on big cases and surprising all of us with their rulings.”

The Court has already heard arguments in one of the key administrative law cases on its docket this term, Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) v. Jarkesy, in which the government urged the justices to uphold SEC’s use of administrative law judges (ALJs). While the case currently only pertains to SEC, the final ruling could apply to other agencies’ use of ALJs and channel more enforcement cases to federal courts. On January 17, the Court will hear two arguments seeking to overturn the Chevron doctrine, Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and Relentless, Inc. v Department of Commerce. These cases could dramatically alter the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other government agencies’ ability to interpret statutes, conduct administrative enforcement, and submit new legal challenges for established regulations. And, there are two cases to be argued in January that are significant 5th Amendment “takings” cases:  Sheetz v. County of El Dorado and Devillier v Texas.

In the article, John said further that with Loper, Corner Post, and Jarkesy, “the Court is now looking at whether the most cited Supreme Court decision, Chevron v. NRDC, should be scaled back or overturned; whether [ALJs] have too much power; whether the 7th Amendment requirements for a jury are broader than we thought; and when a claim under the [APA] first accrues.” If the Supreme Court overturns or narrows Chevron and extends the statute of limitations under the APA, it could open old rules up to new challenges and create massive uncertainty. There is no question that this is an extremely important year for Supreme Court decisions in the environmental world.

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