Today, the Supreme Court issued 6-3 rulings on Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce and Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, overturning longstanding principles established over four decades ago recognizing the value of expertise held within federal agencies. These principles enabled civil servants to bring their deep scientific and technical knowledge to the development of regulations in line with laws passed by Congress to protect the public. This principle is called Chevron deference and is based on the precedent established in the Chevron v. the Natural Resources Defense Council case in 1984. Below is a statement from Jonathan Pershing, Director of the Hewlett Foundation’s Environment Program, on how these decisions harm nonprofits’ work and weaken the ability of government to apply sound expertise to address the needs of people, communities, and the planet.

“Today’s Supreme Court decisions have eliminated the longstanding deference that the courts have provided to federal officials with deep expertise who have for decades implemented congressional mandates to tackle some of the greatest challenges of our time. We deeply regret this decision, not least as the current complexities in our environmental, social, and economic systems require sophisticated understandings of the technical and administrative procedures that the courts are ill-equipped to undertake and that Congress does not have the capacity to resolve given the press of its legislative responsibilities.

The Hewlett Foundation remains committed to supporting the application of technical and subject matter expertise in national regulatory policy to protect the public.  We will continue to support our grantees — in the Environment Program and beyond — as they work to provide that necessary input as we strive to keep our water clean, our lands flourishing, our workers safe, our corporations accountable, and our communities healthy, thriving, and strong.”

Read what some of Hewlett’s Environment grantees are saying about today’s decision: