Sometimes a case comes along that looks like a simple affirmation, but really foreshadows a significant policy change. The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Gundy v. United States is just such a case, and may have opened the door to a revitalization of the long-dormant nondelegation doctrine.
Such a move could have significant impacts on federal government regulation under environmental statutes. It’s been 84 years since the Supreme Court declared a law to be unconstitutional under the nondelegation doctrine, but based on Gundy, it seems more likely than ever that the court will return to enforcing the constitutional responsibility of Congress to not delegate its legislative powers.
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