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ANA Condemns Supreme Court of the United States’s Ruling on Chevron Deference

Agencies’ Power Stripped


SILVER SPRING, MD – The American Nurses Association (ANA) strongly condemns the ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to overturn the legal precedent known as “Chevron deference.” This precedent mandated that when Congress passes laws that could be interpreted in different ways, courts were required to defer to agencies if the agency’s interpretation of the statute was reasonable. Chevron deference recognized the expertise of scientists, economists, and other specialists within federal agencies. The new standard created by SCOTUS requires that courts take agency interpretation into account, but the court need not defer fully to agency interpretations. Without Chevron, federal judges can overturn regulations with little or no consideration of determinations made by subject matter experts in the federal agencies.

While it is not clear how far ranging this decision will be practically, ANA is deeply concerned that long-standing policies governing public health and health care delivery are now subject to immediate legal challenge. For instance, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have promulgated effective regulations embodying the expertise of professionals and including robust public input from advisory committees to public comments. Based on these policies, patients have access to medicines that are proven safe, and Medicare and Medicaid have ensured access to affordable care for tens of millions of people.

“Nurses are well aware of the life-saving impact of sound regulatory policies,” said ANA President Jennifer Mensik Kennedy, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. “Not only does this decision put the health and safety of patients at risk, but it diminishes the authority of experts who are well-qualified to make decisions on complex health issues.”

Nurses regularly care for patients who have been exposed to dangerous levels of pollutants in the air, carcinogenic products, toxic food, and unsafe workplaces. These issues all threaten health and safety and require effective regulatory oversight to mitigate and address.

As a professional organization representing over 5 million registered nurses, ANA calls on Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services to respond immediately to prevent disruption of health and public safety, and to establish regulatory protocols that protect health and safety through informed and effective regulation.


About the American Nurses Association

The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's more than 5 million registered nurses. ANA advances the profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information, visit


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