In a Groundbreaking Decision, the U.S. Supreme Court Overturns the Longstanding “Chevron” Precedent

Discover the immigration implications of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision to overturn the longstanding 'Chevron' precedent.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, overruling Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. and reducing the power of federal agencies. In a groundbreaking 6-3 decision, Justice Roberts writes on behalf of the court: "Chevron is overruled. Courts must exercise their independent judgment in deciding whether an agency has acted within its statutory authority.” 

The ruling was made based on concerns that administrative agencies are granted too much deference, overstepping the authority of the other branches of government. The Chevron doctrine, which has been in place for several decades, established a framework for reviewing agency interpretations of statutes. Under this framework, courts had to defer to the administrative agency’s reasonable interpretation of an unclear statute. This doctrine played a significant role in shaping the way administrative law, including immigration, was interpreted. 

The implications are significant. Immigration law has been considered one of the most complex areas of law and cases often involve vague statutory interpretations where the Chevron doctrine has historically played a role in determining the outcome of such cases.

With the overturning of Chevron, courts will now have more leeway in independently interpreting immigration laws without necessarily deferring to agency interpretations. This could lead to increased judicial scrutiny and potentially more varied outcomes in immigration cases, creating uncertainty. The uniformity of immigration regulation in the U.S. could look vastly different, with different courts having different interpretations of ambiguous laws, likely leading to increased litigation and changes in existing regulations and policies. 

Although it remains to be seen how courts will navigate this new landscape and what the practical consequences will be for immigration policy, this decision will certainly have an impact on immigration law, including for employer sponsors and foreign nationals applying for immigration benefits.