AMA Press Releases Rights

Supreme Court Overturns Chevron Deference

Landmark decision poised to curtail autonomy of government agencies

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (July 3, 2024) — The Supreme Court’s June 28 decision to overturn so-called “Chevron deference” in a landmark case will restrict the ability of government regulators to act outside of Congressional or federal judiciary oversight, likely altering the scope and power of regulations impacting motorcyclists, from off-highway access to right to repair.

Dating to a 1984 Supreme Court decision, Chevron deference referred to the directive that federal courts accept the judgement of regulators regarding relevant law and resulting regulations. This made challenging rules, such as land closures impacting motorcyclists, difficult in the courts.

“Overturning the Chevron deference makes it much harder for the executive branch to implement onerous or misguided regulations,” said AMA Director of Government Relations Nick Haris. “The list of bureaucratic fumbles affecting motorcyclists is long, from the Department of Health and Human Services flipping Congressional intent in the 2000s, paving the way for health insurance discrimination of motorcyclists, to the more recent ‘lead law’ interpretation that temporarily outlawed youth off-highway vehicles. Working with Congress, the AMA was able to defeat both dangerous decisions, but it took years of work and significant resources to do so.

“In a post-Chevron world, we anticipate having more leeway to fight, but we are also cautious that the road ahead is largely unknown,” Haris added. “We will continue to monitor the effects of this decision and update AMA members on how it will impact them in the future.”

The Supreme Court overturned the 40-year administrative law precedent in a 6-3 decision, eliminating the latitude given government agencies to interpret ambiguous laws through regulations. The decision shifts the responsibility of deducing laws and the intent of Congress away from government agencies to the independent judgement of courts.

The American Motorcyclist Association has a long history engaging on issues potentially impacted by the Chevron deference ruling. Since 1924 the AMA has fought in the interest of motorcyclists, repeatedly taking on the overreach of government agencies.

For example, the AMA has fought the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on multiple occasions, including working against noise regulations that would have cost individual motorcyclists thousands of dollars. The AMA also took on the Internal Revenue Service, getting it to rewrite its regulations to allow proper sales tax deductions for motorcycles.

To stay informed on the latest news affecting motorcyclists’ rights, visit the AMA’s Government Action Center.

To join the fight for motorcyclists’ rights, donate to the AMA’s Government Relations efforts today.  

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