Supreme Court rejects case that would have handcuffed Congress

By Pamela King | 07/02/2024 01:45 PM EDT

Two conservative justices said they would have welcomed the chance to further undercut the power of agencies like EPA — and indicated that more of their colleagues are also open to the idea.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas poses for a photo.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that he would have granted a case that asked the Supreme Court to block Congress from giving too much power to regulators. Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Four days after the Supreme Court wiped out the Chevron doctrine, the justices declined to dig in on another legal theory that could deal a massive blow to agency powers.

In orders issued Tuesday, the justices rejected Allstates Refractory Contractors v. Su, a case that targeted the “nearly unfettered” power of the federal government to write permanent safety standards for U.S. businesses — and which could have curbed the ability of Congress to hand power to agencies like EPA.

Most petitions that make their way to the high court are rejected without explanation. But two justices indicated in Tuesday’s orders that they would have voted to take up Allstates, which had asked the Supreme Court to revive the long-dormant nondelegation doctrine.


The doctrine bars legislators from handing too much power to agencies.