Loper Bright v. Raimondo: Scenes from Argument Day
Today, a group of New Jersey herring fishermen, represented by Cause of Action attorneys and former United States Solicitor General Paul Clement, challenge an unlawful regulation that forces them to pay the salaries of government-mandated at-sea monitors before the Supreme Court.
On behalf of the fishermen, Mr. Clement argues Congress never granted the executive branch the authority to create this rule and that the Chevron doctrine, which compelled a D.C. Circuit Court judge to uphold the fee, should be overturned. The Chevron doctrine requires federal courts to defer to agency interpretations on law that they find silent or ambiguous, which gives the government agencies broad powers to define and redefine the law and disrupts the separation of powers mandated by our Constitution. The Loper Bright case is about restoring a core tenet of our democracy: Congress, not unelected officials at administrative agencies, makes the laws, and the Judiciary interprets them.
This page will be updated throughout the day as new material becomes available, including photos, audio, a recording of today’s press conference, and B-roll footage. These assets are downloadable for use by media and attributable to Cause of Action Institute. Key quotes from the fishermen and their counsel also are included below.
All photos courtesy of Cause of Action
Key Quotes from the Fishermen and their Counsel
“This case well illustrates the real-world costs of Chevron, which do not fall exclusively on the Chevrons of the world but injure small businesses and individuals as well.” – Paul Clement, former Solicitor General
“Nowhere are the perverse, and often punitive, consequences of Chevron more apparent than they are in this case. Requiring these fishermen to pay the salaries of at-sea monitors is neither feasible nor fair. The petitioners are seeking to make a modest living through hard and often dangerous work. They have carried monitors aboard their vessels for decades and are dedicated contributors to NOAA’s conservation efforts and research. Unlike fishermen, monitors receive consistent pay regardless of catch size and even when there is no catch at all. The substantial costs for each fishing trip and unpredictable yield mean that fishermen would often make less than the monitors or even lose money under this rule.” – James Valvo, Executive Director at Cause of Action Institute
“This case brings the livelihoods of family-operated fishing enterprises front and center, as their ability to fish herring is in jeopardy due to unlawful government overreach. More precisely, these fishing families and businesses find themselves compelled to pay a government fee that lacks congressional authorization. This fee was imposed by the executive branch absent statutory authority, violating our Constitution’s separation of powers,” – James Valvo, Executive Director at Cause of Action Institute
“Nobody in a family business wants to be the last one to do it, everyone wants to pass it along, and my fear is I may not be able to.” – Stefan Axelsson
“This case has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with protecting the livelihoods of my family and crew. There are substantial costs for every fishing trip we take, and if we catch nothing or the catch is small, we can actually lose money. Monitors are paid regardless of the catch, and under this rule they would make more than me and my crew on many trips, which isn’t financially feasible or fair.” – Bill Bright
“We’ve carried monitors aboard our vessels for decades, and we’re happy to do so to ensure every catch is responsibly harvested. No one has more at stake than we do in the long-term health of these waters, but we don’t believe we should be responsible for covering the monitors’ salaries.” – Wayne Reichle