Oklahomans applaud Supreme Court decision

US Supreme Court ruling may mean good news for some Jan. 6 defendants


A decision Friday by the U.S. Supreme Court to upend a 40-year old decision making it easier for the federal government to regulate the environment, public health and other areas drew strong applause from Oklahoma groups and leaders.

Among those happy about the ruling to overturn the 1984 decision known as Chevron was Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma President Brook A. Simmons.

“Today, the American people won a huge victory against a massive, unaccountable federal bureaucracy that has for decades stifled U.S. innovation, destroyed jobs, and made every product and service more expensive. This is a big win for Oklahoma, the U.S. oil and natural gas industry, and taxpayers from coast to coast.”

Under the so-called Chevron doctrine, if Congress has not directly addressed the question at the center of a dispute, a court was required to uphold a federal agency’s interpretation of the statute. But critics maintained that the Chevron decision also gave power to judges who work for the government.

“Chevron is overruled,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by his five conservative colleagues.

“Courts must exercise their independent judgment in deciding whether an agency has acted within its statutory authority.”

Oklahoma U.S. Sen. James Lankford hailed the decision as well.

“For far too long the courts have given federal agencies too much power in what’s been affectionally referred to as ‘Chevron deference.’ Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court overturned a longtime precedent that gave federal bureaucrats power and has tipped the scales of power back to the American people through their elected representatives. This will stop any Administration from using overreaching rules and regulations to harm businesses, and ultimately harm consumers. It is important that Congress corrects any imbalance in federal laws by passing legislation that ensures the legislative branch makes laws, not federal agencies.”

The Court’s ruling voids precedent that the courts will defer to federal agencies to interpret the law if a statue is unclear. Lankford has long been critical of the use of Chevron deference and the power it has given federal agencies.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, pleased with the ruling said it is a major step toward improving the regulatory environment for businesses.

The chamber further said the court ‌made an important course correction that will help create a more predictable and stable regulatory environment for businesses.  

It claimed that under the Chevron decision, there was an unpredictable and unstable regulatory obligation that adversely impacted how businesses operate. Now, the chamber asserted, courts will exercise full, independent judgment in deciding whether an agency has acted within its statutory authority.‌‌‌

“The Supreme Court’s previous deference rule allowed each new presidential administration to advance their political agendas through flip-flopping regulations and not provide consistent rules of the road for businesses to navigate, plan, and invest in the future,” said Chamber President and CEO Suzanne P. Clark . “The Chamber will continue to urge courts to faithfully interpret statutes that govern federal agencies and to ensure federal agencies act in a reasonable and lawful manner.”

The Hill reported Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan offered a scathing dissent. She said the “majority turns itself into the country’s administrative czar.”