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LCV Statement on SCOTUS Oral Arguments for Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce and Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo

Jan 17, 2024

Washington, D.C.— In response to today’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court on Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce and Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) released the following statement from Senior Director of Judiciary and Democracy Doug Lindner:

“After gutting EPA authority on climate and clean water, the MAGA justices on our captured Supreme Court are now threatening to overturn the fundamental Chevron doctrine and take even more power from federal agencies like EPA that protect the people from powerful special interests. This relentless power grab not only benefits Big Polluters, it also comes at the behest of Charles Koch and his massive, oil-funded political operation that bankrolled this case. If the Koch-backed lawyers get their way, the MAGA justices on the Supreme Court will take power not just from EPA scientists and experts, but also from political leaders and the voters who elect them. 

Congress must pass the Judiciary Act to add four seats and rebalance the Supreme Court with justices who will protect our rights and uphold the law, instead of grabbing power to serve their billionaire friends and polluter allies. We need the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act to ensure the nation’s highest court does not operate with the lowest ethical standards. And we need President Biden and the Democratic-controlled Senate to continue filling every vacancy on the federal bench with qualified, diverse judges of integrity, who work for the people–not the polluters.”

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For Immediate Release
January 17, 2024
Contact: press@unitedfordemocracy.us 

ADVOCACY GROUPS, PROTESTERS JOINED UNITED FOR DEMOCRACY ON SUPREME COURT STEPS TO RALLY AGAINST FAR-RIGHT JUSTICES’ “RELENTLESS” POWER GRAB

Groups gathered on the day of oral arguments for consequential cases that could gut federal agencies’ ability to confront the most pressing issues of our time. 

Photos from the rally can be found here. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Earlier today, United for Democracy – a coalition of 130+ state and national organizations calling on Congress to fix the broken Supreme Court — hosted its “Stop the Relentless Power Grab” rally, where dozens of advocacy groups and over one hundred protesters called on Congress to fix the broken Supreme Court ahead of consequential oral arguments. 

In agreeing to hear both Relentless Inc. v. Department of Commerce and Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, the Supreme Court has opened the door to the possibility of gutting decades of legal precedent and undermining the federal government’s ability to tackle the most pressing issues of our time. An adverse ruling from the Court’s MAGA supermajority would compromise America’s ability to comprehensively tackle climate change, protect workers, and defend consumers – solidifying the efforts of extreme far-right justices who have gutted regulations and safeguards on behalf of the wealthy donors who installed them on the Court.

“United for Democracy was on the Supreme Court steps today because it’s time to call this Supreme Court term out for what it is: a relentless power grab by MAGA justices pushing  an agenda that favors huge corporations and extreme, right-wing billionaires,” said Stasha Rhodes, Campaign Director of United for Democracy. “Relentless and Loper Bright offer the MAGA majority on the Supreme Court the chance to undermine the authority federal agencies use to protect Americans from powerful special interests – leaving workers more vulnerable to unsafe conditions, communities more vulnerable to weak environmental protections, and consumers more vulnerable to price-gouging by greedy multinational corporations.”

United for Democracy was joined by Congresswoman Sylvia R. Garcia (TX-29) and Congresswoman Delia Ramirez (IL-3), along with scores of advocacy organizations. Coordinating Partners include Center for American Progress Action, Center for Popular Democracy,  League of Conservation Voters, The Workers Circle. Participating partners include Accountable.Us, Alliance for Justice, Catholics for Choice, Campaign for America’s Future, Disability Victory, End Citizens United//Let America Vote, Enough of Gun Violence, Indivisible, MoveOn, Newtown Action Alliance, Oregonizers, People Powered United, Protect Borrowers Action, Stand Up America, Supermajority, Take Back the Court Action Fund, and Voters of Tomorrow. 

“This radical, corrupt, and chaotic court needs to be reigned in before it is too late,” said Congresswoman Sylvia R. Garcia (TX-29). “One of the first cases you learn as a law student is the Chevron case, because it makes sure that elected officials and subject-matter experts write the rules to keep us safe, not extreme right wing judges. As we approach the anniversary of Roe next week, we cannot lose sight of all that is at stake. We need to prevent a power grab where a few unelected judges, without any medical school experience, increase their authority to intervene in our personal healthcare choices once more. These Extreme MAGA justices don’t care about people – they care about power.”

“We’ve witnessed a Supreme Court accept lavish gifts and trips from rich donors who have come today to ask for a return on their investments,” said Congresswoman Delia C. Ramirez (IL-3). “We must resist a decision here that could undermine our institutions and weaken important benefits, services, and safeguards that our communities, freedoms, and democracy depend on.  We must defend the multiracial, multicultural democracy we deserve. We must hold the Supreme Court accountable to defend our democracy and operate in the best interest of our citizens. That is why – beyond today’s case – it is so important that Congress commits to a reform of the Supreme Court.”

“This case strikes at the very core of our democracy,” said Erin Jackson Hill, Executive Director of Alaskans Take a Stand, a Center For Popular Democracy affiliate. “It is of utmost importance that we actively engage in educating others about the significance of Chevron. This effectively serves as a safeguard against potential abuses of power. By upholding this legal precedent, we ensure that our rights and liberties are protected, and that decision making power remains in the hands of the people. If we allow for this Court to overturn that crucial doctrine, we will essentially be surrendering even more control over our lives. Together, we must stand up to ensure that the Supreme Court remains committed to serving the people rather than their own self interests.” 

“No matter what happens in this Relentless case, we know these MAGA justices will continue attacking our environmental protections,” said Doug Lindner, Senior Director of Judiciary & Democracy for League of Conservation Voters. “It’s not because of how they interpret the law. It’s because of how they manipulate the law. It’s because they have the power. It’s because they work for big oil and big coal. They work for the Federalist Society. They work for the vote suppressors. They work for the anti-abortion extremists. They work for Leonard Leo and Harlan Crow and Mitch McConnell. They work in bad faith. And they do not work for the American people.”

“This MAGA-majority believes they should tell you what qualifies as pollution, not the PhDs at the EPA; that they should tell you what qualifies as a public health emergency, not the NIH or HHS; and soon that they should tell us what qualifies as serious unemployment or inflation, not the Department of Labor or Federal Reserve,” said Rakim Brooks, President, Alliance for Justice. We’re headed to that senseless place if Relentless goes the way Clarence Thomas and the Koch Brothers want. That’s right: Clarence Thomas is sitting on this case, argued by lawyers for the Koch brothers, after having a years-long relationship with the Koch brothers… When are we the people going to come to a consensus that we’ve had enough of the senseless? We need to rein them in.” 

“We need to call this out for what it is: a brazen attempt by the far-right to gut the administrative state for their own benefit — all enabled by their buddies on the high court,” said Caroline Ciccone, President of Accountable.US. “We deserve a court that serves everyday Americans, not wealthy pals and special interests. We won’t stop until billionaires and extremists stop pulling the strings on our Court and on the critical cases that impact everyday Americans’ lives.”

“Billionaires and corporate special interests have corrupted far-right justices to advance their bottom lines––and the return on their investments have been our freedoms, ”said Tiffany Mueller, President of End Citizens United. “They’ve overturned Roe, they’ve overturned affirmative action, and they’ve overturned President Biden’s cancellation of student loan debt. And now, they’re targeting the long-standing precedent in the Chevron doctrine. We, the people, deserve a Supreme Court that is immune to pressure from billionaire political donors.”

“Two years ago, a partisan majority of Supreme Court justices – all of whom are or were raised Catholic – overturned Roe v. Wade and gave right-wing leaders the ability to codify fringe religious beliefs into civil law,” said Jamie Manson, President of Catholics for Choice. “This religious agenda is spearheaded by the Catholic bishops, who have fought against the Affordable Care Act, greater LGBTQ+ inclusion, and more for years. They have spent billions of dollars to influence these fights for our lives. If Relentless, Inc. is successful, it would further advance the Supreme Court’s quest to achieve disproportionate power and strip away our most fundamental freedoms. It would weaken the power of our Executive Branch and make the Court even less accountable to the checks and balances that are fundamental to democracy.” 

“We deserve the freedom to live free from gun violence. We deserve a Court that uses its power to protect that freedom – not roll it back,” said Celeste Iroha, Founder and President of Enough of Gun Violence. “Instead, we have this Court — backed by and already doing the work of the gun lobby — who will now hear another case that could be highly detrimental to survivors of gun violence like me. I am tired of the gun lobby buying the future that serves their interests, while we pay for it with our lives. We are done paying the price of this special interest power grab.”

“We are here today because young Americans are fed up, ”said Alia Lifshitz, Partnerships Director of Voters of Tomorrow. “Our feet are tired of marching to win back freedoms that our parents once took for granted. Our voices are strained from repeating rallying cries for basic human dignity. And our knees are sore from crouching down during active shooter drills and emergencies at schools, bowling alleys, and grocery stores. We are here today to make it clear that no matter how tired we all are of these power grabs, we will not allow for the Court to hear these cases – to decide on these cases – without telling them that we know the stakes. Gen Z has been and will continue to be disproportionately impacted by the decisions of this Court –  and we will not stand by while it grabs even more power over our lives.”

“This aggressive effort to roll back our rights and protections is part of a larger and sustained attack on our democracy by extremist politicians, billionaires, and judges across the country,” said Noa Baron, Social Justice Organizer for The Workers Circle. “From the onslaught of state voter suppression laws, to extreme racial gerrymandering, to regressive court decisions – these extremists are trying to strip away our rights. Our democracy is on the line and we are here to say to these extremists: we won’t allow it.”

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United for Democracy is a diverse and growing coalition of more than 130 grassroots organizations, labor unions, and advocates for reproductive rights, gun violence prevention, the environment, workers’ rights and more, all representing tens of millions of Americans. The nationwide campaign launched to educate Americans about the impact today’s Supreme Court is having on their lives, freedoms, and democracy — and call on Congress to rein in its unchecked powers.