SCOTUS overturns Chevron doctrine, putting thousands of regulations in limbo

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) overturned a long-held precedent in which courts deferred to federal agencies in interpreting complex or ambiguous regulations–a decision that could make thousands of federal regulations more vulnerable to legal challenges.

The legal crux of the decision in the consolidated cases of Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce involved the legal precedent, adopted in 1984, known as the Chevron doctrine. Chevron effectively required courts to defer to agencies’ reasonable interpretations of ambiguous statutes.

Chevron deference has been widely applied by courts to nearly every federal and state agency decision across the country, including regulations related to the environment, workplace safety, food and drug approvals, securities law, and banking regulation, to name just a few.

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