The U.S. Supreme Court issued its final opinions of the term this week, and various hot-button social issues caught much of the media’s attention. But what about the cases that directly affect manufacturers? How did the Court rule on issues that affect your ability to compete and create jobs, such as the burden of government regulations and aggressive litigation against you?
There is good news to report. First, the Court issued a rare decision ordering the EPA to halt enforcement of the Clean Power Plan while the rule’s legality is sorted out in a lower court. The Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action sought this order because of the dramatic way in which the Environmental Protection Agency decided to regulate the electric generation sector.
Second, the Court was quite willing this year to allow manufacturers to challenge other agency decisions in court. The Hawkes Co. case allows immediate judicial review of the Army Corps of Engineers’ decisions about their jurisdiction. The Encino Motorcars case shows how companies can challenge significant changes in agency interpretations that are insufficiently justified. At the same time, the Court made it clear that parties that sue companies must meet rigorous standing requirements to be in court. However, it allowed the certification of a class of plaintiffs through statistical evidence of injury rather than actual injury, making class action cases against manufacturers easier to file.
ShopFloor is the blog of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).