Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch on Wednesday expressed sympathy toward everyday citizens challenging federal agency overreach in courtrooms across the nation, arguing that a long-standing precedent that gives deference to such agencies has created a “disparate impact.”
The nine justices heard two challenges that arose from a 2020 federal regulation forcing owners of fishing vessels in the Atlantic herring fishery to pay for at-sea monitors who collect data and oversee operations on their vessels.
However, the subject of fishing was only seldom mentioned during the more than three hours of oral arguments spread across the cases collectively. Instead, the justices focused on the 1984 legal doctrine known as the Chevron deference, which requires courts to defer to agencies’ interpretation of laws passed by Congress if the interpretation is “reasonable.”
Gorsuch, one of six Republican-appointed justices, stood out as the