Supreme Court Case Essay

Published: 2021/11/22
Number of words: 595

There have been more than enough administrative law cases that have been decided by the Supreme Court of the United States, but the one that stands out is Chevron case in 1984. It is one of the most influential cases in the past years as it provides principles that guides to any Court giving deference to the agency that it has been given to administer. This article analyzes the Chevron’s case and its impact in detail.

The case was filed in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. It was to challenge Clean Air Act regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stating the Statutory term “stationary source.” The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977, Pub. L. 91 Stat. 685 required that states with overly polluted air to use permits in order to regulate the new stationary sources of air pollution. EPA was to treat entire factory as a single source, in that as long as the air pollution did not rise beyond the regulated level, the factory could modify or install new equipment without meeting the source requirement.

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The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of EPA’s definition of “stationary source.” In Natural Resource Defense Council vs Gorsuch, 685 F.2d 718 (1982) case NRDC obtained a reversal of the regulations as stated by EPA. The Court of Appeals revealed that EPA did not give a wide definition of stationary source to the factories involved in the air pollution. The court of Appeals tried to maintain the meaning of “stationary source” and did include a new meaning, “major stationary source.” They did not give a detailed comment on some issues such as “bubble concept.” The case was taken to the Supreme Court.

The issue of the case was EPA’s decision to allow all factories to treated as one by States when it comes to emitting of pollution. It stated that all pollution-emitting device can be able to install or modify their control equipment without necessarily seeking new permission on the regulation. It meant that the plant was treated as a bubble in the context of “stationary source,” as long as they did not increase aggregate emissions. The Supreme Court had to reverse the decision basing on the explanation made.

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Supreme Court stated that determination of whether a congress has spoken about the question at issue should be given priority especially if the review concerns the construction of statute the agency administers. If the Congress has spoken about it then the inquiry ends, but if not, then the court chooses if the interpretation of the agency corresponds to that of the statute and the construction s permissible. Therefore, any court has no mandate to change the interpretation of the statute given the fact the fact that the interpretation of the agency’s make sense. There was no dissent in this case.

Chevron case had a significant impact as the Supreme Court provides a principle called Chevron Defense. The court has to exercise its judging in law especially when the law is being considered ambiguous as required by the Judicial branch. Not only the case has been made to be one of the most and frequently cited decision, but also an influential one in the American administrative law.


Jonathan R. Siegel, (2018). The Constitution Case for Chevron Deferense. Vand. L. Rev. 71, 937. (accessed 08/08/2021)

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