Case Summary Citation

National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense, 138 S. Ct. 617 (2018).


In an attempt to provide consistency to the interpretation and application of the statutory phrase “waters of the United States,” as used in the Clean Water Act, the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers together passed the WOTUS Rule. Unfortunately, the Rule has created more confusion than clarity, resulting in a number of lawsuits challenging substantive portions of the Rule’s language. National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense did not address those substantive challenges, but instead determined whether those claims challenging the Rule must be filed in federal district courts or federal courts of appeals. In its decision, the United States Supreme Court refused to apply the Government’s extratextual interpretations of the WOTUS Rule and other applicable regulations, and instead limited its analysis to the plain language of those provisions. The Court concluded that petitions for review regarding the Rule should be filed in federal district courts.



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