Conservative Supreme Court majority leans into diminishing agency power

A decades-old Supreme Court precedent seen by critics as giving too much power to federal agencies was highly scrutinized on Wednesday by members of the high court’s Republican-appointed majority.

Arguments in two separate hearings on Wednesday surrounded appeals filed by two fishing companies of lower court rulings that allowed the National Marine Fisheries Service to force commercial fishermen to help pay for “at-sea” human monitors to be on board their vessels and keep track of the number of herring fish caught. The companies argue that Congress never authorized the agency, which is part of the Commerce Department, to establish the program.

The majority of the nine justices, six of whom were appointed by Republican presidents, appeared critical of the 40-year-old precedent known as the 1984 Chevron doctrine, which states that if a federal rule is challenged in court,
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