Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge to OSHA

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge to OSHA's Authority

Allstates Refractory LLC’s appeal was rejected as the courts continued to debate agency power.

On July 2, 2024, the Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge brought forward by Ohio-based construction contractor Allstates Refractory LLC that could have weakened OSHA. 

According to The Hill, the case was backed by Republican-led states and anti-regulatory groups. Allstates Refractory—which provides furnace services to the glass, metal, and petrochemical industries—argued Congress unconstitutionally delegated its legislative powers to the executive branch by granting OSHA authority to set and enforce workplace standards. 

Despite support from Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch—who publicly stated they would have taken up the case—the appeal was turned away. The court’s brief order followed a lower court's decision to reject the challenge. Justice Thomas declared evaluating the constitutionality of OSHA’s authority as an “undeniably important” question worth addressing. 

Allstates Refractory LLC—which was represented by Don McGahn, former White House counsel under President Trump— was supported by 23 Republican state attorneys general and various libertarian legal groups in this effort. They aimed to reduce the "administrative state" following recent Supreme Court rulings that favored conservative and anti-regulatory positions. 

The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the OSHA case maintains the status quo but leaves the door open for future challenges to the delegation of legislative powers to federal agencies. In turn, this could significantly impact the stability of current workplace safety regulations.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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