Detroit Regional Chamber welcomes US Supreme Court ‘Chevron’ decision

The ruling will affect the ability of federal agencies to interpret statutes, giving the federal court system much more control and ending the 40-year-old precedent of “Chevron deference.”

Detroit Regional Chamber CEO Sandy Baruah at the Mackinac Policy Conference.

Detroit Regional Chamber CEO Sandy Baruah at the Mackinac Policy Conference.

In a ruling late last month, the United States Supreme Court ended the decades-long precedent of Chevron deference.

Chevron deference is the latitude federal judges gave regulatory agencies over how to interpret the statutes they administer when a dispute arises. It allowed experts from the Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Trade Commission and Food and Drug Administration – among others – to interpret often intentionally-vague legislation.

Now, the federal court system will have far more control and the enforcement of some statutes could be tied up in the courts for years.

Detroit Regional Chamber CEO Sandy Baruah says it’s a “win” for the business community.

“[The ruling] does prevent over-interpretation and overreach by non-elected officials,” Baruah said.

There has been fear — especially from environmentalist groups  — that the rollback of Chevron deference will lead to corporations regulating themselves and softening the impact of the EPA.

“I strongly disagree. That is not an interpretation that anyone should take,” said Baruah. “This really requires the legislators to be more clear about what they want to see, because right now, one or two sentences in enacted legislation can lead to 500 pages of government regulations.”

Baruah believes the end of Chevron deference will also even out the regulatory system, despite changes in administrations.

“When there is a conservative or Republican administration in office, they may want to interpret federal laws that are enacted in a certain way, but they may not be able to do that,” Baruah said. “So what limits the liberals, if you will, is going to also limit the conservatives.”

Use the media player above to hear the full interview with Baruah.

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  • Russ McNamara
    Russ McNamara is the host of All Things Considered for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news to the station’s loyal listeners. He's been an avid listener of WDET since he moved to metro Detroit in 2002.