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Supreme Court Decision Weakens Federal Agency Rules

U.S. Supreme Court

In an opinion announced today, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled a 1984 decision that held courts should defer to federal agencies’ reasonable interpretations of ambiguous statutes passed by Congress. This decision diminishes federal agency power and has significant implications for human resource professionals.

“Today, the Supreme Court has made a monumental decision in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce, overruling Chevron deference,” said Emily M. Dickens, chief of staff, head of government affairs, and corporate secretary for SHRM.

“This ruling overturns decades of established precedent, fundamentally changing how courts evaluate the boundaries of regulatory authority and executive actions,” Dickens added. “This decision sets a new precedent to guide lower courts to not give deference to a federal agency’s interpretation of laws when challenged.”

Takeaway for employers: Agency rules now may be more susceptible to court challenges. As a result, employers may find themselves responding to court interpretations of agency rules more than ever before.


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