Pages 310-319 | Published online: 12 Sep 2016

This article analyzes the potential impacts of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co.

Prior to this decision, federal agency action that merely provided information could not be challenged because of the Administrative Procedure Act allowed parties to challenge only “final agency action.” The Court recognized that some actions that merely provide information can be final because they have legal consequences. To understand the extent to which the Hawkes decision expands the right to challenge agency action, the article compares the Hawkes decision with the Court’s decision in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, where the Court also discussed the issue of “final agency action.” The article concludes that the Court’s reasoning regarding what type of consequences make an action “final” is the key to understanding what regulatory action can now be challenged.

(to read more)