Daryl Joseffer Daryl Joseffer
Executive Vice President and Chief Counsel, U.S. Chamber Litigation Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


May 31, 2024


In the coming weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether to overturn its 1984 landmark administrative law precedent, Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council. In short, Chevron is about judicial deference to federal agencies. Chevron instructs courts to defer to an agency’s reasonable interpretation of an ambiguous statute. It has become the most-cited administrative law decision of all time, shaping judicial review of administrative actions.   

This term, the Supreme Court will revisit Chevron in two companion cases—Relentless v. Department of Commerce and Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is committed to helping businesses navigate the implications of the Court's forthcoming decision. 

The Evolution of Chevron 

Chevron deference was originally conceptualized as an effort to foster respect for the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers. In the Court’s view, requiring the judiciary to defer to federal agencies would ensure that policy decisions are left to the politically accountable branches. It also would allow Congress to draw on the comparative advantages and expertise of the Executive Branch by allowing administrative agencies to fill in the gaps of complex statutes.  

Over the last 40 years, the Chamber has filed many legal briefs weighing in on the scope of and limits on Chevron deference. For example, the Chamber has argued that courts should undertake a “rigorous textual analysis” of statutes and ensure that Chevron review imposes a “meaningful limitation” on agency overreach.  And the Chamber has urged courts to hold that Chevron does not apply to certainagency decisions. 

As the Chamber has explained in amicus briefs, Chevron deference has increasingly become unbounded. In its current form, Chevron deference poses a triple threat to the tripartite scheme of government that the Supreme Court had intended to protect. It entices Congress to abdicate its duty to make the law. It entices the Executive Branch to stray far beyond its duty to enforce the law. And it entices the judiciary to abandon its duty to say what the law is. 

The Consequences of Chevron 

Businesses value predictability and stability in the law.  In order to make effective strategic and investment decisions, businesses must operate in a regulatory environment that remains relatively consistent over time and enables them to know their legal obligations in advance.   

The current Chevron regime undermines predictability and stability for businesses because they cannot ascertain their regulatory obligations based on the laws.  Rather, regulatory obligations today turn on unstable agency statutory interpretations, sometimes without any prior notice at all.  This instability hampers productivity, investment, and innovation.  Businesses cannot effectively plan for the future when agencies are free to unilaterally change the basic rules at any time. 

The Supreme Court Revisits Chevron  

In light of these concerns, the U.S. Supreme Court is revisiting Chevron. The Court heard argument in January of this year in two companion cases—Relentless v. Department of Commerce and Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo—to consider whether to eliminate, or at least substantially narrow, Chevron deference.  

The Chamber filed an amicus curiae brief in these cases, arguing that the Supreme Court should repudiate the practice of reflexive judicial deference to agency interpretations of statutes that has arisen under today’s expansive understanding of Chevron deference. If Chevron deference can be salvaged at all, we further argued, the only path to doing so is by adhering faithfully to the separation of powers.   

What Happens Next?  

The Supreme Court will issue its decision by the end of June.  Based on oral argument, the Supreme Court seems poised to heed the Chamber’s call to cabin the scope of Chevron deference. Indeed, the Court may end up overturning Chevron entirely.  

The Chamber stands ready to help businesses navigate this new regulatory terrain. After the Supreme Court issues its decision, we will work closely with members to assess the impact of the decision.

Regardless of the outcome, the Chamber will continue to urge courts to faithfully interpret statutes that govern federal agencies and to ensure that federal agencies act in a reasonable and lawful manner. 

About the authors

Daryl Joseffer

Daryl Joseffer

Daryl Joseffer is executive vice president and chief counsel at the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center, the litigation arm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In this role, Joseffer handles a variety of litigation matters for the Chamber. He has argued 12 cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and dozens of appeals in other courts across the country.

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