Decision will harm people who rely on workplace protections, medication safety, air and water quality protections, and more 

Washington, DC – Today, six justices of the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in two combined cases, Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and Relentless v. Department of Commerce, that fundamentally undermines the ability of the federal government to deliver for the American people. 

The decision overruled forty years of precedent set forth in the 1984 case Chevron v. NRDC, which says that judges should defer to federal agencies when interpreting laws containing ambiguous language, as long as the interpretation was reasonable. By overturning this doctrine, the Supreme Court has upended how the federal government has operated for decades, and invites generalist judges to substitute their own views for those of the experts and civil servants that Congress entrusted to implement policy at federal agencies.

Democracy Forward was counsel for groups representing more than 250,000 small businesses and business-related entities throughout the nation in submitting a brief at the United States Supreme Court to highlight the harms to business and the economy that would result if the Court overturned the long-standing precedent known as Chevron deference. It also submitted a brief on behalf of practicing physicians with expertise in pharmaceutical and regulatory policy explaining the risks to public health and safety if the Court disturbed long-standing legal precedent. 

“Today’s decision is the latest example of the U.S. Supreme Court’s majority rewriting the way our nation functions and making it harder for the government to deliver for the American people,” said Skye Perryman, President and CEO of Democracy Forward. “In a democracy, the government works for the people. It is a cornerstone of our federal system that after Congress passes laws to meet the needs of the American people, federal agency experts implement those laws and policies that keep us safe—policies like protecting the air we breathe, the medications we take, and our rights at work. It is no mistake that the same interests that have been active in undermining reproductive rights, voting rights, and critical environmental, public health, and safety protections urged the Court to reach this harmful decision. By accepting the invitation from far-right interests to rewrite our laws, the Court’s conservative majority has imperiled the ability of federal agencies to work for the American people.”

As a result of today’s ruling, decisions that Congress has entrusted federal agencies with expert personnel to make will now be made by generalist judges, who are not policymakers and could impose their own ideological views. The decision is likely to lead to inconsistent policies across the nation and make it very easy for protections and beneficial regulations Congress has asked agencies to put in place to be struck down in hostile courts. The decision occurs against a backdrop of a cynical, multi-decade, and coordinated effort to undermine functioning democracy and harm the people our government is meant to serve in the process.

Perryman testified before Congress in 2024 on this case, warning that attacks on the ability of federal agencies to implement policies as enacted by Congress, the independence of civil servants, and the bedrock principles of administrative law will have wide-sweeping negative consequences to the stability and prosperity of our country.

To speak with Perryman about the impacts of this decision, please email For more information about Democracy Forward and its role in Loper Bright/Relentless, see here.

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