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Attorney General Morrisey issues statement following SCOTUS decision overturning legal doctrine known as Chevron deference

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who led a 27-state coalition that asked U.S. Supreme Court to overrule the doctrine known as Chevron deference, issued a statement following the release of the high court’s decision.

In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court overruled the high court’s 1984 decision in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, holding that courts should defer to an agency’s interpretation of an ambiguous statute.

 “The U.S. Supreme Court made the right decision to revisit and overrule the Chevron doctrine, a misguided doctrine under which courts defer to legally dubious interpretations of statutes put out by federal administrative agencies,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Congress’s words matter, not agencies’ policy preferences. And agencies shouldn’t be permitted to take advantage of statutory silence or ambiguity to extend their powers beyond what Congress intended.”

“For too long, though, the Chevron doctrine has empowered agencies to do just that. This needs to stop,” the Attorney General continued. “When people think about the major problems of the administrative state, Chevron deference should be at or near the top of the list. We are proud to have help beat it back.”

According to a press release from the Attorney General’s office, Chevron deference allowed courts to defer to a federal agency’s interpretation of an ambiguous statute—even if the court thinks that the agency’s approach is not the most faithful way to read the statute. And, because agencies only had the powers that Congress gives them by statute, the doctrine effectively allowed agencies to expand their authority whenever statutes are even a little unclear.

Read a copy of the Supreme Court’s opinion here.

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