Delegation of Rulemaking Authority in Light of the “Major Questions Doctrine”

Executive Summary

In West Virginia v. EPA, the Supreme Court addressed a “particular and recurring problem: agencies asserting highly consequential power beyond what Congress could reasonably be understood to have granted.” By a 6-3 majority, the Court held that, when a “major question” is involved, the decision on how to regulate rests with Congress and Congress alone. The administrative agency’s regulation is valid only to the extent that it is enacted pursuant to an indisputable delegation of authority from Congress.

This issue brief summarizes West Virginia v. EPA and discusses some important considerations in light of the case. (updated February 19, 2023)

*Erica Turret is a Jenner & Block Pro Bono Fellow working with the National Health Law Program.

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