The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, overruling the Chevron case precedent that was the issue before the court. The majority opinion held that, “[t]he Administrative Procedure Act requires courts to exercise their independent judgment in deciding whether an agency has acted within its statutory authority, and courts may not defer to an agency interpretation of the law simply because a statute is ambiguous.”

The 1984 decision in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council established the Chevron doctrine, which instructs courts to defer to an agency’s reasonable interpretation of an ambiguous statute.

In overturning Chevron, the court found that “Chevron has proved to be fundamentally misguided” and “[it] was a judicial invention that required judges to disregard their statutory duties.”

The dissent, written by Justice Elena Kagan and joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ketanji Brown Jackson, concluded, “In one fell swoop, the majority today gives itself exclusive power over every open issue — no matter how expertise-driven or policy-laden — involving the meaning of regulatory law … the majority turns itself into the country’s administrative czar.”

BAL Analysis: BAL commented earlier this year that the outcomes in Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce and Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo could have a revolutionary impact on immigration litigation, including the power that immigration judges have over noncitizens and the standard of review used by federal judges in reviewing immigration decisions. BAL is reviewing this and other Supreme Court decisions and assessing how they could impact immigration programs.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice Group.

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