The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
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Gutting Chevron Deference Harms the Public

Gutting Chevron deference will harm the public, the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards said today in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo. The Court today, once again, sided with big corporations trying to weaken agencies’ ability to issue strong rules to protect the public, the coalition maintains.

The Court has overturned a 40-year-old legal precedent that respects Congress’ choice to delegate policymaking authority to subject-matter experts at federal agencies. These experts – not judges – should make decisions about how best to implement a statute, in light of real-world experience.

“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.”

Importantly, the decision does not remove or weaken the legal authority for federal agencies to protect the public with new and updated rules, and it is no excuse for regulatory inaction. Agencies must continue to do their jobs protecting consumers, workers, civil rights, our environment, and the public.

In response to the decision, Congress should enact Chevron deference into law by passing the Stop Corporate Capture Act (H.R. 1507), the coalition said. The bill is a comprehensive blueprint for modernizing, improving, and strengthening the regulatory system to better protect the public. It would ensure greater public input into regulatory decisions, promote scientific integrity, and restore our government’s ability to deliver results for workers, consumers, public health, and our environment.

Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that champions the public interest in the halls of power. We defend democracy, resist corporate power and work to ensure that government works for the people - not for big corporations. Founded in 1971, we now have 500,000 members and supporters throughout the country.

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