Twenty-Two AGs Filed Amicus Brief in Supreme Court Defending the Chevron Doctrine

District of Columbia Attorney General Brian Schwalb led a coalition of 22 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, in which the Supreme Court is deciding whether to overrule the Chevron deference doctrine. The Chevron doctrine instructs courts to defer to an agency’s interpretation of a statute in cases where Congress delegated policymaking authority to agencies with technical expertise on the subject of the statute, which includes many environmental and climate programs. In the amicus brief, the AGs urged the Court not to overrule the doctrine, but to instead “clarify its scope and application.” The AGs explained that the doctrine is essential for the stability of statutes that rely on cooperative federalism between the federal government and states. Overruling Chevron could lead to states’ implementation of federal programs getting derailed by litigation after implementation is already underway, the AGs argued. Additionally, the doctrine leads to more effective policies because it allows Congress to delegate technical policy making to agencies that have the technical expertise needed for such decisions, since “it is impossible to legislate every detail needed for the implementation and enforcement of a complex statute,” the AGs explained.