Supreme Court Overturns Chevron Doctrine

The decision could present challenges to preserving the many decades of progress we have made towards protecting people and the planet.

Mountains at sunset with wildflowers and a lake.
Cascade Mountain Daybreak First light on a late July morning in Cascade Mountains of Central Oregon. © Gary Grossman/TNC Photo Contest 2021

Media Contacts

  • Jill Schwartz
    Marketing and Communications Director, North America Policy
    The Nature Conservancy

The Supreme Court of the United States today issued its decisions in two related cases on how the federal courts should treat a federal agency’s implementation of federal laws through the issuance of regulations, guidance and procedures when those actions are challenged in federal courts. They are referred to informally as the “Chevron deference" cases and formally as Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce. The decisions will affect how federal courts consider the implementation of federal laws (including foundational environmental laws, such as the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act) by a federal agency.

In response, The Nature Conservancy issued the following statement from Kameran Onley, managing director of North America Policy and Government Relations.

“The decisions are likely to present challenges to preserving the many decades of progress we have made in protecting people and the planet. They affect the requirement articulated by the Supreme Court 40 years ago for federal courts to give deference to reasonable determinations by a federal agency on how best to interpret, implement and enforce provisions of federal laws that agencies are charged by Congress to implement.

“That is concerning, given the high level of scientific and other relevant expertise, as well as practical experience, there is among the people who work in our federal agencies. It is exactly this kind of expertise and experience we need if we want to successfully implement laws enacted by Congress, particularly since the laws often deal with complex and ambiguous issues that require the development of detailed regulations that are open for public comment.

“Given the dual crises of climate change and the loss of plant and animal species, we need to be top of our game when implementing the many groundbreaking laws that have been passed over the past few years and decades, from the Endangered Species Act to the Great American Outdoors Act.

“Despite some of the troubling implications of these cases, I remain confident that the federal government—in partnership with local, state and tribal governments; conservation nonprofits; community leaders and others—will continue to be an important leader in protecting people and the planet, an issue that is top of mind for most Americans. We have no other choice but to work together. Action is needed at every level of society to create the kind of world we want for ourselves and future generations.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. The Nature Conservancy is working to make a lasting difference around the world in 77 countries and territories (41 by direct conservation impact and 36 through partners) through a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on X.