Brief in Loper Bright v. Raimondo urges the Court to reject invitation to overturn nearly forty years of precedent and uphold a predictable regulatory framework
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, groups representing more than 250,000 small businesses and business-related entities throughout the nation submitted a brief at the United States Supreme Court to highlight the harms that would result if the Court overturns its long standing precedent, outlined in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, concerning the way courts interpret regulations. The brief, filed on behalf of Main Street Alliance, the American Sustainable Business Network, Businesses for Conservation and Climate Action, and South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce highlights the importance of regulatory predictability for the ability of businesses to grow, thrive, and compete. The case is Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and the group is represented by Democracy Forward.
Nearly 40 years ago, in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, the Supreme Court ruled that courts should defer to a federal agency’s interpretation of a federal law when the law is not clear, as long as the agency’s interpretation is reasonable. This approach, known as Chevron deference, has governed the way courts evaluate challenges to federal regulatory action for decades. It has served an important role in ensuring that courts do not substitute their own policy preferences for those branches of government that are elected by the people, Congress and the Executive Branch. This term, however, the Court has chosen to consider whether to overturn the approach outlined in Chevron.
The friend of the court brief filed today on behalf of small businesses urges the Court not to overturn its long-standing precedent. The brief explains that doing so would set off a cascade of regulatory uncertainty, causing harm to small businesses, stifling innovation, and undermining good jobs and progress towards a more sustainable economy.
The brief discusses the importance of federal regulatory action in providing a more level playing field for small businesses. It highlights the harms that would result from the judiciary creating additional uncertainty through abandoning an approach that ensures that courts do not substitute their policy judgments for the judgment of expert agencies and Congress. The group of small business associations note that when entrepreneurs and small businesses know the rules of the playing field, they can determine the best next strategic move for their business – Chevron deference helps to promote that regulatory certainty leading to the conditions needed for businesses to compete and grow.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Certainty in business is particularly beneficial for our business which is what a clear and transparent regulatory process provides. Ensuring that there is sufficient federal regulatory action can provide a much needed level playing field for small businesses,” said David Levine, Co-founder and President, American Sustainable Business Council.
“Eliminating Chevron would result in unpredictable and unrestricted regulation standards set by big corporations that stifle the Main Street economy. If we want to ensure a strong economy, then we must take on power in all forms,” said Chanda Causer, Executive Director, Main Street Alliance.
“Today, small businesses have the ability to weigh-in with regulatory agencies as they craft rules for all to follow per legislation passed by our democratically-elected Congress. The process is transparent and offers significant opportunity for the voice of small business to be heard. This effort to turn over regulatory interpretations to the courts will mean that only the voice of big corporations, those with the ability to hire expensive legal help, will be heard. Small business, the public, and democracy will be the losers,” said Frank Knapp Jr., President & CEO, South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce.
“The efforts behind this case to decimate Chevron are part of a broader movement to undermine how our democracy functions and the ability of the government to be responsive to the needs of people and communities,” said President & CEO Skye Perryman of Democracy Forward. “Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, employing more than half the nation’s workforce and responsible for 12.9 million net new jobs over the past 25 years. Overruling the Court’s long-standing precedent set forth in Chevron will harm small businesses and create more—not less—burdens on their operations. Our brief filed on behalf of a coalition of hundreds of thousands of small businesses across the nation urges the Court to uphold longstanding law.”
Counsel for Main Street Alliance, American Sustainable Business Network, Businesses for Conservation and Climate Action, and the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce in this matter include Jeffrey Dubner, Kaitlyn Golden, Kristen Miller, and Skye Perryman.