Supreme Court case could limit executive power on climate, energy
Driving the news: The justices will dive into cases challenging "Chevron deference" — a longstanding precedent that gives departments broad leeway when underlying statutes are vague or silent on a topic.
Why it matters: The litigation is technically about a fisheries rule, but curtailing Chevron — which the conservative majority looks primed to do — would affect far more areas of regulation.
State of play: Conservatives and business groups say Chevron upsets the constitutional balance of powers, giving executive agencies authority that Congress never intended or approved.
The other side: Environmental groups say nixing or weakening the precedent would block agencies from confronting evolving threats and from using technical and scientific expertise within their ranks.
Catch up fast: The high court already imposed limits on regulators in 2022; a 6-3 ruling found that a far-reaching (albeit defunct) Obama-era power plant mandate violated the "major questions" doctrine.
- That's the idea that big, consequential regulations require clear authorization by Congress.
What we're watching: How that decision, and this week's case, affect new and brewing rules like planned SEC climate disclosure mandates. And politically, the outcome could feed wider campaign narratives.
The big picture: For conservatives, paring back regulators' powers would show results from Trump-appointed judges.
- An array of left groups who will rally outside the court this morning call the case a "power grab" by the court's "MAGA majority" on behalf of "wealthy benefactors and special interests."
The bottom line: Today's arguments will be wonky and dry, but the stakes are huge.