The Supreme Court is hearing arguments today that could upend four decades of judicial precedent.
In two similar cases, Atlantic-based fishers say the U.S. Department of Commerce is unlawfully making them pay the salaries of compliance observers. That can cost $700 daily and cut gross revenue by up to 20%.
But they first need justices to overthrow the Chevron Principle, a 1984 construct that allows government agencies to interpret ambiguous laws.
The fishermen say the principle gives a “systematic bias” in favor of the government and allows the U.S. president to control regulations. But the Biden administration argues that overturning the doctrine could result in a “convulsive shock to the legal system.”
Courts have used the Chevron Principle in thousands of cases, including ones that involve federal programs like Social Security. A decision is expected in the coming months.