Maryland Employment Attorneys – Luchansky Law

The recent Supreme Court decision to overturn the Chevron doctrine marks a pivotal shift in administrative law. It significantly impacts federal regulatory power and creates many new opportunities for small business owners.

Background: Chevron Doctrine and the Case

The Chevron doctrine, established in the 1984 Supreme Court case Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., has been a cornerstone of administrative law. It mandated that courts defer to federal agencies’ reasonable interpretations of ambiguous statutes. This doctrine gave agencies considerable leeway to create and enforce regulations, shaping policies across various sectors, including environmental protection, public health, workplace safety, and consumer protection.

The recent ruling originated from Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and Relentless Inc. v. Department of Commerce. These cases involved commercial fishermen who contested the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) requirement to pay for federal observers on their vessels. The fishermen argued that the Chevron doctrine allowed agencies to impose undue burdens without explicit congressional authorization. The Supreme Court’s conservative majority sided with the fishermen, dismantling the Chevron precedent.

Impacts on Small Business Owners

1. Regulatory Uncertainty:

  • The overturning of Chevron introduces significant regulatory uncertainty. Businesses may face a more unpredictable regulatory environment without the deference previously granted to agency interpretations. Small businesses, which often lack the resources of larger corporations to navigate complex legal landscapes, may find it particularly challenging to stay compliant with evolving regulations.

2. Increased Legal Challenges:

  • Agencies will likely face more legal challenges to their regulations. Small businesses might need to engage more in litigation to contest or defend against regulatory interpretations, potentially increasing legal costs and diverting resources from core business activities.

3. Potential for Reduced Regulation:

  • In the short term, the decision may reduce the scope of regulations, particularly those that were justified under ambiguous statutory language. This could benefit small businesses by reducing compliance burdens and operational costs associated with stringent regulations.

4. Greater Judicial Involvement:

  • Courts will now play a more significant role in interpreting statutes, which may lead to less consistent regulatory enforcement as different courts may interpret laws in varying ways. Small businesses will need to monitor legal developments closely and may benefit from legal counsel to navigate these changes effectively.

5. Legislative Pressure:

  • The decision shifts more responsibility to Congress to draft clearer, more detailed statutes. Small business owners and their advocates might need to engage more actively in legislative processes to ensure that new laws consider the practical realities of running a small business and do not impose undue burdens.

6. Impact on Specific Sectors:

  • Certain industries, particularly those heavily regulated by federal agencies, may experience more pronounced impacts. For example, environmental regulations could become less predictable, affecting businesses in manufacturing, agriculture, and other sectors reliant on natural resources.


The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Chevron doctrine represents a fundamental change in how federal regulations are developed and enforced. For small business owners, this shift brings both challenges and potential opportunities. Navigating this new legal landscape will require vigilance, adaptability, and, often, legal expertise. At Luchansky Law, we are committed to helping small businesses understand and respond to these changes, ensuring they can continue to thrive in an evolving regulatory environment. For more information on how this ruling may impact your business, please visit Luchansky Law.

About Luchansky Law

Luchansky Law specializes in resolving workplace disputes for employers and employees across Maryland. Our attorneys bring extensive experience and a practical approach to protecting your rights, navigating new regulations, and ensuring compliance. Our team combines legal expertise and practical experience to solve workplace challenges and effectively meet legal and business needs.

Please contact us at (410) 522-1020, email us at, or stop by our office at 606 Bosley Avenue, Suite 3B, Towson, Maryland, 21204.