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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 posits that the issue of deference is not relevant only in administrative or even law generally. Anytime there is a decision to be made by any type of organization, people have to consider whether to incorporate or defer to prev
Professor Gary Lawson posits that the issue of deference is not relevant only in administrative or even law generally. Anytime there is a decision to be made by any type of organization, people have to consider whether to incorporate or defer to previous decisions. When courts have to consider previous administrative agency decisions, there is nothing unique about that part of the decisionmaking process.
Professor Gary Lawson is the Philip S. Beck Professor at Boston University School of Law.
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