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When and how do Courts defer to an agency's interpretation of its own statute? A 1984 landmark case, Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., established what is known as Chevron doctrine, which says that a court must defer to an agency's reasonable interpretation of its own statute. This standard has been used ever since by courts in administrative law cases. Recently, the Chevron doctrine has come into questions not only by academics but by the Supreme Court and other judges. What additional forms of deference do judges use (Auer, Skidmore, etc)? What does the Administrative Procedure Act say about whether courts should defer to agencies? What is the relationship between administrative agencies and Article III judges? Are administrative law judges (ALJs) constitutional?
Professor Gary Lawson explains that “non-delegation” was already a recognized issue, as early as 1825. Chief Justice John Marshall recognized that only Congress could exercise the “Legislative Power.” The Legislative branch was not permitte
Professor Gary Lawson explains that “non-delegation” was already a recognized issue, as early as 1825. Chief Justice John Marshall recognized that only Congress could exercise the “Legislative Power.” The Legislative branch was not permitted to sub-delegate purely legislative powers to either the Judicial or Executive branches. How do we recognize Legislative Power? Professor Lawson argues that Chief Justice Marshall had the most accurate formulation of that also. Congress was given the power to produce legislation about important matters; the other branches acted on matters of “lesser interest.”
Professor Gary Lawson is the Philip S. Beck Professor at Boston University School of Law.
As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.
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