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Durbin Statement On Supreme Court Ruling In Chevron Deference Cases, Failure of Justice Thomas To Recuse

CHICAGO – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s rulings today in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce, which overruled Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council and the long-standing precedent that courts provide deference to an agency’s interpretation of ambiguous federal statutes:

“The Supreme Court’s conservative majority just shamelessly gutted long-standing precedent in a move that will embolden judicial activism and undermine important regulations. Federal agencies use the latest scientific analyses and expert opinions to implement widely popular programs that ensure safe food and medications, clean air and water, stable financial markets, fair working conditions, and more. With this decision, those programs may now be tied up in court for years by corporate special interests.

“Desperate for loopholes, corporate special interests pushed hard to overturn the Chevron doctrine and strip power from these agencies, so they can flood federal courts with cases to try to claim that power for themselves. This is a massive blow to our government’s ability to remain effective and responsive to the needs of the American people.”

Additionally, Durbin had called for Justice Thomas to recuse himself from Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo last fall, after public reporting detailed Justice Thomas’s secret participation in donor summits organized by billionaires Charles and David Koch.

Durbin issued the following statement in response to Justice Thomas’s failure to recuse himself:

“I’m disappointed – but unsurprised – that Justice Thomas refused to recuse himself from these cases, despite secretly participating in donor summits organized by the Koch brothers. The Koch network has invested tremendous capital trying to overturn the issue at the heart of these cases. Like I’ve said before: even the appearance of impropriety warrants recusal, and this episode is another textbook example of a warranted recusal. Until Chief Justice Roberts uses his existing authority to implement an enforceable code of conduct for all Supreme Court justices, we will push to pass the SCERT Act.”