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US Supreme Court: Federal officials are not above the law

Friday, Jun 28, 2024

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Julie Marie Blake regarding a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court Friday in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, in which the court overturned Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council and ruled that federal agency officials must be held accountable when they exceed their authority:

“The U.S. Supreme Court has rightly held that unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats can’t weaponize federal laws to violate Americans’ most fundamental rights. Federal agency officials frequently disrespect Americans’ most cherished principles—including religious freedom and the sanctity of life—by imposing personal political agendas that Congress has not authorized. Now, the court has wiped away a major roadblock that prevented Americans from holding government officials accountable. For too long, Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council allowed federal agencies to avoid responsibility, and we agree with the court’s decision to overturn it. Not only does this ruling force bureaucrats to do their job; it also protects the First Amendment from being abused by the executive branch. This is a landmark win for the Constitution, the separation of powers, and the rule of law.”

In its decision, the Supreme Court wrote the following:

Chevron is overruled. Courts must exercise their independent judgment in deciding whether an agency has acted within its statutory authority, as the [Administrative Procedure Act] requires...[C]ourts need not and under the APA may not defer to an agency interpretation of the law simply because a statute is ambiguous.”

Last July, ADF attorneys filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of Christian Employers Alliance, urging the court to stop federal agencies from imposing mandates and spending tax dollars that harm the unborn, devalue religious freedom, and contradict biological distinctions based on sex.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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