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Overturning Chevron Deference is a Gift to Big Corporations

For Immediate Release: June 28, 2024
Contact: David Rosen,

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Supreme Court today overturned Chevron deference, a 40-year-old legal precedent that respects Congress’ choice to delegate policymaking authority to subject-matter experts at federal agencies. Below are statements from the leadership of the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards responding to the decision:

“The Supreme Court today overturned a decades-old legal precedent that will significantly undermine government experts trying to protect consumers, workers, the environment, and the public’s health and safety,” said Rachel Weintraub, executive director of the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards. “The public expects our government to protect us from dangerous products, polluted air and water, unsafe workplaces, and fraudulent markets. This decision will harm all of us for as long as it stands.”

“This decision is a gift to big corporations, making it easier for them to challenge rules to ensure clean air and water, safe workplace and products, and fair commercial and financial practices,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen and co-chair of the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards. “But the decision is no excuse for regulators to stop doing their jobs. They must continue to follow the law and uphold their missions to protect consumers, workers, and our environment.”

“To best safeguard consumers, protections need to be based on research and data, not on the whims of judges who have no expertise on these products and services,” said Susan Weinstock, president and CEO of the Consumer Federation of America and co-chair of the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards. “We will all pay the price of today’s terrible decision with our dollars, our health, and our lives.”

“With today’s decision, the Supreme Court has struck another blow against the principle of ‘government by the people,’” said James Goodwin, policy director at the Center for Progressive Reform. “It usurps Congress’ choice on how to write public protection laws like the Clean Air Act, and it empowers unelected judges to second-guess the work of publicly accountable agencies. Fortunately, it remains within the public’s power to reclaim its authority over how our policy decisions are made, and the task of doing so must begin today.”

“The decisions in Loper Bright and Relentless are the result of well-funded campaigns by powerful industries and ideological interest groups that prioritize their profits reaped from polluting or harmful activities and fiercely oppose any effort to implement science-based public health protections,” said Dr. Jennifer Jones, Center for Science and Democracy program director for the Union of Concerned Scientists. “This is a reckless ruling, justified in abstract legal language, but the intent of these lawsuits – and the impacts of the ruling – is to make environmental, safety, and public health protections harder to implement and enforce, leaving millions of people breathing dirtier air, drinking dirtier water, and living and working in more dangerous conditions.”

“This decision will make it harder for federal agencies to govern, operate, or enforce workers’ rights and protections effectively, meaning workers will be left exposed to more dangers, risks, and discriminatory treatment on the job. Regulations are critical tools for establishing worker protections and it is simply common sense that agencies that Congress authorizes to administer and enforce laws should have the ability to establish the rules that most effectively effectuate those laws,” said Celine McNicholas, director of policy for the Economic Policy Institute. “It is inefficient and unrealistic to assume that either Congress or unelected judges – rather than the deep subject matter experts at federal agencies – should be expected to specifically legislate every detail of, say, exactly what level of toxic chemical exposure is hazardous for a mine worker. Corporate interests have long sought this decision because it will substantially weaken agencies’ ability to enact basic safeguards for workers. We hope that Congress will act swiftly to correct the majority’s act of judicial hubris.”

“This is a profound change, and a terrible one. It’s part of this Court’s broad, concerted effort to make it harder for our government to function,” said David Doniger, senior attorney at Natural Resources Defense Council. “Whether they’re making food safer, air cleaner or safeguarding prescription drugs, agencies need to be able to respond to complex problems the modern world throws at us. This decision is profoundly destabilizing and leaves policy – and public health – up to the individual preferences and political biases of unaccountable judges.”

“Extremist politicians and their corporate allies have schemed for decades to undermine regulatory agencies, and this disheartening decision is a huge gift to those same interests,” said Liz Shuler, president of AFL-CIO. “Today, a right-wing supermajority on the Supreme Court has eroded the federal government’s ability to ensure that the law is enforced and that working people are protected. This ruling paves the way for corporate challenges to the actions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Labor Relations Board, and other agencies with a duty to protect workers’ lives and rights, which would allow employers to get away with retaliation, union-busting and maintaining dangerous workplace conditions.”

Contact David Rosen at to speak with any of our coalition leaders.