Allentown Mack Sales & Serv., Inc. v. NLRB
In Allentown Mack Sales & Serv., Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 522 U.S. 359, 118 S.Ct. 818, 823, 139 L.Ed.2d 797 (1998), the Court equated the substantial evidence standard with "whether on this record it would have been possible for a reasonable jury to reach the [agency's] conclusion."
The "substantial evidence" test "gives the agency the benefit of the doubt, since it requires not the degree of evidence which satisfies the court that the requisite fact exists, but merely the degree that could satisfy a reasonable factfinder." Id. 118 S.Ct. at 828.
This is an "objective test," id., so, for example, when the agency "purports to be engaged in simple factfinding, ... it is not free to prescribe what inferences from the evidence it will accept and reject, but must draw all those inferences that the evidence fairly demands," id. at 829.
In Allentown Mack Sales & Serv., Inc. v. NLRB, 522 U.S. 359, 118 S.Ct. 818, 139 L.Ed.2d 797 (1998), the Court concluded that the employees statement was simply an expression of dissatisfaction with the unions performance, which could be interpreted in either of two ways: it could reflect the speakers desire to save his $35 and get rid of the union, but it also could reflect the speakers desire that the union represent him more effectively. Id.
That, the Court said, was enough to engender an uncertainty whether the speaker supported the union -which at the time was sufficient to warrant withdrawal of recognition. Id.