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Protecting Civil Rights with the Stop Corporate Capture Act (H.R. 1507)

March 7, 2024 | Download PDF

Strong civil rights protections are a fundamental pillar of our democracy. From addressing discrimination in the workplace to increasing voting rights and protecting those with disabilities,  Americans from all walks of life benefit from the continued advancement of civil rights law and regulation. These protections all depend on a transparent and democratic rulemaking process with robust public input from civil rights advocates.

Regrettably, decades of neglect and underinvestment have led to the disenfranchisement of civil rights voices in the regulatory process, putting effective civil rights protections at risk. Public interest groups like civil rights advocates are consistently underrepresented in the public comment period due to a lack of transparency and the outsized influence of special interest lobbyists. These groups, who represent marginalized communities disproportionately harmed by  pollution and lack access to adequate healthcare and economic opportunities, must have their voice heard in a process designed to protect and serve all Americans.

A democratic regulatory system cannot function properly until it is repaired to fully reflect the input of civil rights voices. The Stop Corporate Capture Act offers a comprehensive roadmap to update and modernize the rulemaking process by centering community engagement and increased accountability by agencies. The bill would increase transparency by requiring more thorough documentation of changes made to draft rules, and establish an office specifically designed to promote awareness of and engagement with new rules. By leveling the playing field with corporate actors and empowering our communities, SCCA will ensure that public protections are strong and effective for generations to come.

SCCA would increase transparency and accountability in the rulemaking process while promoting social justice

SCCA would require improved documentation of any changes made to draft rules after they are submitted to OIRA, including clear attribution of the source of those changes. Additionally, SCCA would establish an Office of the Public Advocate to promote public awareness of new rulemakings. This office would be tasked with researching and assessing the social equity impacts of the rulemaking process.

SCCA would promote scientific integrity and crack down on corporate influence.

Corporations disproportionately dominate the public comment process during new rulemakings, often using flawed and financially influenced studies and reports. SCCA would require disclosure of funding sources for all studies and reports provided in public comments and impose heightened disclosure requirements for studies that have been peer-reviewed. SCCA would also impose civil penalties on corporations that deliberately use false information to influence regulators during the rulemaking process.

SCCA would codify Chevron deference and empower agencies.

Forty years ago, the Supreme Court in Chevron mandated that the judicial branch defer to expert agencies’ statutory interpretation when Congress’ intent is not clear. Because the conservative majority on the Supreme Court is threatening to take that power away from agency officials who are responsive to the public and give it to unelected judges, SCCA would prevent that judicial power grab and center subject matter expertise in cases involving regulations, limiting the potential for political beliefs to influence the outcome of such cases.

For additional information, contact Rachel Weintraub at and visit the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards’ page on the Stop Corporate Capture Act: