Supreme Court Takes Up Case Involving Challenge To Obama Water Regulation

Date: January 17, 2017

Case To Decide Jurisdiction For Appealing Obama Administration’s Burdensome Waters Of The US Rule


The Washington Post reported that the dozen new cases the Supreme Court accepted last week “mostly [represent] business concerns,” and include a case challenging the Obama Administration’s so-called “Waters of the United States” rule, also referred to as the Clean Water Act. The Supreme Court “will not be considering the rule’s merits,” but instead “will be settling a dispute about the proper court in which the challenges must be filed,” the Post noted. The Washington Examiner reported that challenges to the regulation hope the Supreme Court’s review “will resolve a crucial jurisdictional issue in challenging the Obama administration’s far-reaching Waters of the U.S. rule, which has been targeted by President-elect Trump for repeal.” Politico Pro reported that the National Association of Manufacturers is arguing “that challenges to the water rule should be heard first by district courts, rather than by appellate courts, as the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decided.” E&E Publishing reported that the business group, along “with the support of 31 states, petitioned the Supreme Court to reconsider the 6th Circuit’s jurisdiction decision,” arguing the litigation “belongs in local district courts.” Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported that the Obama administration has separately filed “a 245-page brief in defense of its controversial ‘Waters of the United States’ rule that defines every water body in the nation, and determines whether they can be regulated under the Clean Water Act.” The Post characterized the brief as “the administration’s most forceful defense of the rule.” However, the article said that it’s “unclear” how it will be defended “since both President-elect Donald Trump and his nominee to lead the EPA, Scott Pruitt, oppose the rule.”

What This Means For Small Businesses

Standing up to the burdensome regulations of the Federal government is important in helping US small businesses grow. News that the Supreme Court will resolve an important dispute in the WOTUS case is encouraging, as it signals action to address this regulation, which has been mired in litigation since 2015, may proceed more swiftly in the near future.

Additional Reading

Reuters, Bloomberg Government, and The Hill also covered the story.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

Subscribe For Free News And Tips

Enter your email to get FREE small business insights. Learn more

Get to know NFIB

NFIB is a member-driven organization advocating on behalf of small and independent businesses nationwide.

Learn More

Or call us today

© 2001 - 2023 National Federation of Independent Business. All Rights Reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy