Supreme Court Overturns US Chevron Doctrine: Crypto Sector Celebrates While Bidden Voices Concern

Rimsha Rizwan
By Rimsha Rizwan Add a Comment
6 Min Read
US Chevron Doctrine

The Supreme Court has overturned the US Chevron Doctrine, a principle established 40 years ago that allowed federal agencies to interpret laws in areas where legislation was unclear. This ruling, decided by a 6-3 majority, is seen as a monumental shift, particularly within the cryptocurrency community. 

The Chevron doctrine, also known as Chevron deference, originated from the 1984 Supreme Court case Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. Chief Justice John Roberts led the opinion, stating, “Experience has also shown that Chevron is unworkable. The defining feature of its framework is the identification of statutory ambiguity, which requires deference at the doctrine’s second step. But the concept of ambiguity has always evaded meaningful definition.”

Crypto Community Celebrates US Chevron Doctrine Repeal

Stakeholders in the crypto sector widely celebrated the US Chevron Doctrine ruling. They viewed the Supreme Court’s decision as a long-awaited change that would reduce the power of unelected agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has been criticised for its strict interpretations of laws affecting the emerging industry.

Austin Campbell, an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, emphasized that the US Chevron Doctrine ruling forces the SEC to adhere to clearly written rules. “This decision will have some unintended consequences and likely puts the onus back on Congress, but in the long run, it’s a huge net positive for judicial and legal certainty in our industry,” he remarked.

Economist Timothy Peterson also supported the US Chevron Doctrine decision, suggesting it would prevent the SEC from acting as an “automatic subject matter expert” on crypto. He noted, “[The Supreme Court] overturning Chevron deference limits the SEC’s unilateral interpretive power against Bitcoin. All those ‘staff opinions’ that said ‘such and such is a security’? Gone. Courts must now scrutinize the SEC’s anti-Bitcoin stance, potentially leading to fairer regulations and a more balanced legal environment.”

FOX Business reporter Eleanor Terrett explained that while the US Chevron Doctrine ruling doesn’t entirely strip the SEC of its enforcement abilities, it raises questions about whether Congress has explicitly authorized the SEC to regulate crypto as a security. She stated, “The SEC’s claim that it has full jurisdiction over crypto matters less today than it did yesterday because there is a question over whether Congress has given the SEC authority to regulate it based on whether or not it’s a security.”

US Chevron Doctrine
US Chevron Doctrine

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Biden and Warren Criticize Crypto Ruling

Despite the broad support from the crypto community, the US Chevron Doctrine decision has faced significant criticism from key figures in the Biden administration and prominent Democrats. President Joe Biden’s administration expressed concerns that the ruling could undermine regulatory efforts across various sectors.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a well-known crypto sceptic, criticized the ruling as a power grab by far-right interests designed to benefit the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of consumers and workers. She stated, “Corporate interests want extremist judges to write the rules at the expense of consumers, workers, safety, and the environment.”

US Chevron Doctrine: Implications for the Crypto Sector

The overturning of the Chevron doctrine is expected to have far-reaching implications for the crypto industry. By shifting the power of interpretation from federal agencies to the courts, the ruling could lead to a more consistent and predictable regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies. This change is particularly significant given the SEC’s historical stance on digital assets, often resulting in uncertainty and contentious legal battles within the industry.

For many in the crypto sector, the Supreme Court’s decision represents a chance for fairer and more balanced regulations. With the SEC’s ability to unilaterally interpret laws now curtailed, the crypto industry hopes for clearer legislative guidance and judicial scrutiny that aligns more closely with the innovative nature of digital currencies.

Mike Cagney, co-founder and CEO of Figure Markets, highlighted the significance of the ruling for the crypto sector. He stated, “Previously, when there wasn’t clear legislation, courts had to side with the regulator (e.g., the SEC). With this decision, courts decide autonomously. Big for our space,” Cagney added.

Conclusion

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the US Chevron Doctrine is expected to significantly shift the regulatory landscape, particularly impacting the cryptocurrency sector. While crypto stakeholders celebrate the ruling for promoting judicial and legal certainty, sceptics criticize it as a potential threat to consumer protections and regulatory oversight. As the industry and lawmakers adapt to this new framework, the long-term implications for the crypto market and broader regulatory practices remain to be seen.

 

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