Justice Stevens’s majority opinion in Chevron v. NRDC has become one of the most hotly debated topics in administrative law. With the “Chevron Doctrine” dividing scholars and pundits along uncommon ideological lines, the history of Chevron’s growth from a “puny little precedent” into a major landmark decision makes for an intriguing discussion about administrative agencies, judicial deference, and unintended consequences.

What happened in Chevron v. NRDC? Should courts defer to administrative agencies’ reasonable interpretations of their own rules—especially when the statutes authorizing those rules are ambiguous? Is Chevron the ultimate legal example of “be careful what you wish for”? 

Five administrative law experts discuss these topics and more in “Chevron: Accidental Landmark,” a documentary short from FedSoc Films.  

As always, the Federalist Society takes no particular legal or public policy positions. All opinions expressed are those of the speakers.

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Experts (in order of appearance):

Prof. Thomas W. Merrill, Columbia Law School
Learn more: https://www.law.columbia.edu/faculty/thomas-merrill

Hon. C. Boyden Gray, Boyden Gray & Associates
Learn more: https://boydengrayassociates.com/c-boyden-gray/

Mr. David Doniger, Natural Resources Defense Council
Learn more: https://www.nrdc.org/experts/david-doniger

Prof. Kristin E. Hickman, University of Minnesota Law School
Learn more: https://www.law.umn.edu/profiles/kristin-hickman

Prof. Christopher J. Walker, The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law
Learn more: https://moritzlaw.osu.edu/faculty/christopher-j-walker/

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Differing Views & Related Links:

Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.

The Story of Chevron: The Making of an Accidental Landmark

Chevron’s Inevitability

Judicial Deference to Administrative Interpretations of Law

Chevron and Political Accountability

Is Administrative Law Unlawful?

Thanks, Chevron?

The New Chevron Skeptics

Deference to Agency Rule Interpretations: Problems of Expanding Constitutionally Questionable Authority in the Administrative State

Chevron's Foundation: Congressional Delegation of Interpretive Primacy