January 22, 2018
National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense, No. 16-299
Today, the Supreme Court unanimously held that challenges to an agency rule defining the “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act must be filed in federal district court, not in the federal courts of appeals.
The Clean Water Act grants federal courts of appeals exclusive jurisdiction over challenges to certain EPA actions. Other EPA actions may be challenged only in federal district court. After the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers jointly issued a rule purporting to define the “waters of the United States,” a trade association challenged the rule in federal district court.
Whether challenges to the “Waters of the United States” rule must be filed in federal district court or a federal court of appeals.
The rule may be challenged only in district court.
“Rather than confront [the] statutory text, the Government asks us to ignore it altogether.”
Justice Sotomayor, writing for the unanimous Court
What It Means:
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