BOZEMAN—The Montana Farm Bureau praised Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court Ruling that struck down Chevron deference. Chevron deference instructed courts to defer to federal agencies’ arguments about the scope of their own authority and was the result of another forty-year-old court decision known as Chevron vs. Natural Resources Defense Fund. In essence, it multiplied the power of federal agencies and the executive branch and undermined the principles of separation of powers. 

MFBF Senior Director of Governmental Affairs Nicole Rolf explained why this decision benefits farmers and ranchers. “By striking down Chevron deference, the balance is restored to the three branches of our government—the legislative, judicial and executive—meaning federal agencies won’t be able to simply add any regulations they want to impose without going through the proper system of checks and balances provided by the U.S. Constitution.”  

Rolf cited one example being the Waters of the U.S. Rule which has caused consternation and concerns since it was launched by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2015. That rule never provided farmers and ranchers with any clarity of what was and was not a water of the U.S. and was challenged in court numerous times.  

“Many aspects of that rule clearly exceeded the authority Congress granted the agency under the Clean Water Act,” said Rolf. “In just eight years, the government issued three very different sets of rules, leaving farmers in constant regulatory uncertainty.”  

Rolf added, “America Farm Bureau has been a leader in fighting for less deference to administrative agencies by getting involved in several cases including Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo. We’re proud to be part of an organization that will stand up to the overreach of federal agencies.”  

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall noted, “For decades, Congress has passed vague laws and left it to federal agencies and the courts to figure out how to implement them. AFBF has been a leading voice on this issue and has argued on behalf of farmers who are caught in a regulatory back and forth when administrations change the rules based on political priorities instead of relying on the legislative process. We are pleased the Court heard those concerns.”  

“The Constitution built a system of checks and balances among three branches of government, to prevent any one branch from becoming too powerful,” Duvall noted. “Chevron deference created a super-branch of government. The Supreme Court restored balance with Friday’s decision.”