On February 25, President Biden appointed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to assume the seat of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer following his retirement in June. During her eight years as a judge with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Jackson presided over a number of federal regulatory cases, some involving NAHB. According to NAHBNow, Judge Jackson’s rulings in prior cases reveal a well-rounded history of adjudicating federal agency actions and suggest that she will understand the challenges and complex regulations that NAHB members face.
For example, in 2018, Jackson adjudicated a case involving a longtime NAHB member and land developer. At issue in this case was whether the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) correctly categorized land surrounding a stock pond as “unoccupied critical habitat” for an endangered species that only lives in water. Jackson ruled in favor of the developer on this issue, holding that FWS did not adequately support its critical habitat determination.
In other cases, Jackson has deferred a federal agency’s regulatory action. For example, in earlier litigation involving the same developer, she upheld other elements of FWS’ determination concerning the developer’s property.