Notice & Comment

DC Circuit Historical Society Event, 6/13 4:30PM: Rearguing Chevron v. NRDC

Next Thursday, June 13th, the Historical Society of the District of Columbia Circuit presents the inaugural Judge Patricia M. Wald Program on Life and Law in the Courts of the D. C. Circuit: In the Case of Statutory Ambiguity, Who Decides? – Chevron Revisited.

Here are the details:

Date: Thursday, June 13, 2019
Time: 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Location: Ceremonial Courtroom, 6th Floor
E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse, 3rd Street & Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.

Chevron v. NRDC is perhaps the seminal case in administrative law over the past several decades and a subject of increasing controversy. Our program will examine its origins, impact, and future viability.

The Clean Air Act required a construction moratorium and permit process for “stationary sources” in areas that failed to meet air quality standards. Congress did not define what it meant by “stationary source.” In August 1980, EPA defined a “source” as either an entire plant or a single piece of equipment, thereby sweeping more units in for review in areas with unhealthy air. Fourteen months later, EPA dramatically changed course, repealing the “dual definition” and identifying “source” as an entire plant. EPA stated that the new definition, termed the “bubble concept,” would eliminate regulatory complexity and return states to their role as primary actors in pollution control. On challenge by NRDC, the D.C. Circuit rejected the bubble concept, drawing on its understanding of the statute’s purpose of improving air quality to guide its decision. The Supreme Court reversed, laying down the famous “Chevron two- step” dictating that, in the face of statutory ambiguity, a court should not proffer its own construction but should defer instead to a reasonable agency interpretation.

Our program will include a reenactment of arguments presented to the D.C. Circuit, focusing not on the proper definition of “stationary source” but on the key question of which body, the court or the agency, is to provide the answer when the statute is ambiguous.

Following the reenactment, there will be a panel discussion exploring the legacy of Chevron and the current status of the Chevron Doctrine.

Setting the Stage
Gillian Metzger, Stanley H. Fuld Professor of Law, Columbia Law School

For petitioners, Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., et al., John P. Elwood, Vinson & Elkins, LLP. For respondent, Anne M Gorsuch, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, David C. Vladeck, A.B. Chettle Chair in Civil Procedure, Georgetown University Law Center
Judith W. Rogers, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
Gregory G. Katsas, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

Panel Discussion
Moderator, Christopher J. Walker, Associate Professor of Law, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
Panelists, John F. Manning, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, Gillian Metzger, John P. Elwood and David C. Vladeck

Admission is free.
Reservations are not required.
A reception with light refreshments will follow the program.

The flyer is here. This should be a really fun, adlaw geeky event, so definitely join us!

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