U.S. Supreme Court hears cases on Chevron doctrine

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in two separate but related cases that challenge the Chevron doctrine. The Chevron doctrine stemmed from the 1984 decision of Chevron U.S.A, Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council and requires that federal courts defer to a federal agency’s reasonable interpretation of a law, preventing the court from substituting its preferred interpretation if there is any uncertainty. The Supreme Court’s decision in these cases could have both positive and negative implications for federal agencies that regulate credit unions as it would create uncertainty about whether agencies’ interpretations of statutes are reasonable.

Petitioners claimed during oral arguments that the Chevron doctrine undermined the Constitution by placing judicial powers into the hands of agencies, as Congress did not intend for federal agencies to interpret federal law. They also noted that the doctrine violates the Administrative Procedure Act. Instead of using the Chevron doctrine, the petitioners argued that courts should instead consider the agency’s position but be allowed to determine the best interpretation of legal questions. 

U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar noted in response that overturning Chevron would call thousands of cases into question. Prelogar said that Congress considers Chevron when making laws and leaves gaps for interpretation, adding that proposals to overturn the Chevron doctrine have not passed Congress. 

America’s Credit Unions will track these cases and provide updates. 

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