Boston Globe editorial cites NELF amicus brief siding with fishermen as possible path to decision

Boston Globe Editorial Endorses and Shares NELF Amicus Brief

On Way Forward with Chevron Doctrine

NELF Proposed A Path for SCOTUS to guard against the rise of the unelected, unaccountable administrative state


BOSTON – New England’s largest and most influential newspaper, the Boston Globe, in an impassioned lead editorial on May 9, cited and agreed with NELF’s SCOTUS amicus brief that proposed a path for the high court to guard against the rise of the unelected, unaccountable administrative state and an abdication by federal judges of their role as guardians of the constitution and law.


The editorial cited NELF’s amicus brief urging SCOTUS to consider the case of LOPER BRIGHT ENTERPRISES, ET AL., v. the SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, ET AL. “Stemming from a dispute over management of the New England herring fishery,” said the editorial, “the case challenges regulations by the National Marine Fisheries Service that require monitors on fishing vessels to help enforce rules meant to prevent overfishing. Because Congress was silent about who should pay for the monitors, the agency determined that the fisheries must bear the cost — a finding that four herring fishing companies have challenged all the way to the nation’s highest court, and with it the longstanding precedent that gave agencies deference.”


Chevron deference, named after a landmark ruling by the court nearly four decades ago, has been misapplied by federal judges, according to NELF, who have embraced judicial deference to agency expertise to the point of foregoing their constitutional role in the judicial branch to rein in executive agency functions that exceed congressional authorization. Embracing NELF’s suggested solution, the Globe noted “Even if justices decide the regulators overstepped, they can overrule the agency without overturning yet another longstanding precedent. The court could simply clarify when an agency is empowered to fill in the gaps of federal law and when judges should step in to decide.”


The Globe quoted NELF amicus brief author Senior Staff Attorney Ben Robbins saying, “It would be much more powerful and helpful for the court to clarify that Chevron has been grossly misunderstood and need not be overruled, and of course, to the extent that the Court could avoid in any case outright overruling itself gives (it) more institutional legitimacy.”


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