Sullivan Celebrates Supreme Court Decision Ending ‘Chevron Deference’

Ruling curtails federal agency power, restores congressional & judicial authority

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA—U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) released the following statement after the Supreme Court today overruled the landmark 1984 Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council decision. The ruling overturns the often-cited ‘Chevron’ doctrine, which directed courts to defer to federal agencies when their interpretations of ambiguous federal statutes are deemed “reasonable.”

“The Supreme Court’s ruling today, overturning Chevron vs. NRDC, is welcome news for Alaska and all Americans,” said Sen. Sullivan. “Although a seemingly arcane issue about legal process, the challenges associated with Chevron deference is a topic I’ve been passionate about dating back decades to my time as a judicial law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Fairbanks, and on the Alaska Supreme Court in Anchorage, as well as during my tenure as Alaska’s Attorney General and Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources.

“For decades, federal agencies in Alaska have ignored and abused federal laws relating to our state. I’ve witnessed first-hand federal agencies’ gross abuse of Chevron deference and its devastating consequences for Alaskans and our economy. One only need to look at the recent Sturgeon line of U.S. Supreme Court cases, and today’s lawless Ambler Road decision by the Biden administration’s Department of Interior. Too often, federal judges in Alaska and on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit have simply cited Chevron to rubber stamp such federal agency abuse, all of which undermines our citizens’ rights and our state’s future.

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling begins the long overdue need to ensure that federal courts do not continue to provide such deference to federal agencies that abuse or ignore the law. Over time, the great state of Alaska should benefit significantly from this ruling.”

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