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Columbia Law School

Administrative Law

Chevron

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A Softer, Simpler View Of Chevron, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2018

A Softer, Simpler View Of Chevron, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

Justice Kennedy's concurrence in Pereira gives reason to hope that the Court may be finally catching on to the difficulties it created by Chevron's opening language, as distinct from its inherent reasoning. When courts quote language like "precise question" and "permissible" to limit themselves (as Justice Scalia and others unfortunately tended to reinforce by their quotations from the opinion), they stray not only from judicial function but also from the statute (APA) that instructs them how to review, and which strangely the opinion does not mention. But Chevron actually (a) independently found and defined a statutory gap within ...


Reflections On Seminole Rock: The Past, Present, And Future Of Deference To Agency Regulatory Interpretations, Gillian E. Metzger, Aaron Nielson, Sanne H. Knudsen, Amy J. Wildermuth, Aditya Bamzai, Richard J. Pierce, Cynthia Barmore, William Yeatman, Christopher J. Walker, Kevin M. Stack, Andy Grewal, Steve R. Johnson, F. Andrew Hessick, Jonathan H. Adler, Catherine M. Sharkey, David Feder, Cass R. Sunstein, Adrian Vermeule, Ronald M. Levin, Kevin O. Leske, James Cleith Phillips, Daniel Ortner, William Funk, Kristen E. Hickman, Jeffrey A. Pojanowski, Adam White, Conor Clarke Jan 2016

Reflections On Seminole Rock: The Past, Present, And Future Of Deference To Agency Regulatory Interpretations, Gillian E. Metzger, Aaron Nielson, Sanne H. Knudsen, Amy J. Wildermuth, Aditya Bamzai, Richard J. Pierce, Cynthia Barmore, William Yeatman, Christopher J. Walker, Kevin M. Stack, Andy Grewal, Steve R. Johnson, F. Andrew Hessick, Jonathan H. Adler, Catherine M. Sharkey, David Feder, Cass R. Sunstein, Adrian Vermeule, Ronald M. Levin, Kevin O. Leske, James Cleith Phillips, Daniel Ortner, William Funk, Kristen E. Hickman, Jeffrey A. Pojanowski, Adam White, Conor Clarke

Faculty Scholarship

Seminole Rock (or Auer) deference has captured the attention of scholars, policymakers, and the judiciary. That is why Notice & Comment, the blog of the Yale Journal on Regulation and the American Bar Association’s Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice, hosted an online symposium from September 12 to September 23, 2016 on the subject. This symposium contains over 20 contributions addressing different aspects of Seminole Rock deference.

Topics include:

  • History of Seminole Rock
  • Empirical Examinations of Seminole Rock
  • Understanding Seminole Rock Within Agencies
  • Understanding Seminole Rock as Applied to Tax, Environmental Law, and Criminal Sentencing
  • Why Seminole Rock Matters
  • Should ...


Executive Federalism Comes To America, Jessica Bulman-Pozen Jan 2015

Executive Federalism Comes To America, Jessica Bulman-Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

From healthcare to marijuana to climate change, negotiations among federal and state executive branch actors increasingly set national policy in the United States. This executive federalism fits uneasily into existing understandings: it departs from expectations that Congress formulates national policy and mediates state-federal relationships; it poses a challenge to popular suggestions that the president is engaged in unilateral action; and it comes as a surprise to those who have studied executive federalism but insist it is the peculiar province of parliamentary federations. In an age of partisan polarization, congressional gridlock, and state initiative, executive federalism has come to America. After ...


In Search Of Skidmore, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2014

In Search Of Skidmore, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

Ever since 1827, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly observed that when a court is interpreting a statute that falls within the authority of an administrative agency, the court in reaching its own judgment about the statute's meaning should give substantial weight to the agency's view. Repeated again and again over the years in varying formulations, this proposition found its apotheosis in Skidmore v. Swift & Co., a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Jackson in 1944. His opinion took the proposition to be so obvious that no citation was required. Justice Jackson's typically incisive and memorable formulation ...


In Search Of Skidmore, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2013

In Search Of Skidmore, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

In a coup en banc, Justice Scalia appears to have converted his lonely and furious dissent from United States v. Mead Corp. into the eight to one majority holding in City of Arlington v. FCC. Much will doubtless be said about this opinion, as about all Chevron matters generally, but to note here is that 186 years of precedent for the proposition that judges interpreting statutes involving agency authority should give substantial weight to agency views have simply disappeared. Whether agencies have authority to act, a legal question, is either all Chevron (the majority) or no deference at all (Chief ...


"Deference" Is Too Confusing – Let's Call Them "Chevron Space" And "Skidmore Weight", Peter L. Strauss Jan 2012

"Deference" Is Too Confusing – Let's Call Them "Chevron Space" And "Skidmore Weight", Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay suggests an underappreciated, appropriate, and conceptually coherent structure to the Chevron relationship of courts to agencies, grounded in the concept of "allocation." Because the term "deference" muddles rather than clarifies the structure's operation, this Essay avoids speaking of "Chevron deference" and "Skidmore deference." Rather, it argues, one could more profitably think in terms of "Chevron space" and "Skidmore weight." "Chevron space" denotes the area within which an administrative agency has been statutorily empowered to act in a manner that creates legal obligations or constraints – that is, its allocated authority. "Skidmore weight" addresses the possibility that an agency ...


"Deference" Is Too Confusing – Let's Call Them "Chevron Space" And "Skidmore Weight", Peter L. Strauss Jan 2011

"Deference" Is Too Confusing – Let's Call Them "Chevron Space" And "Skidmore Weight", Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

Administrative law scholars have leveled a forest of trees exploring the mysteries of the Chevron approach contemporary judges take to reviewing law-related aspects of administrative action. Without wishing to deny for a moment that judicial practice has been inconstant – influenced by the importance of the matter, by the accessibility of the issues to non-expert judges, by politics, and by the earned reputations of differing agencies – this short comment suggests an underappreciated, appropriate, and conceptually coherent structure to the Chevron relationship of courts to agencies, a structure whose basic impulse may be captured by the concept of “allocation.” Steering clear of ...


Chevron'S Two Steps, Kenneth A. Bamberger, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2009

Chevron'S Two Steps, Kenneth A. Bamberger, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

The framework for judicial review of administrative interpretations of regulatory statutes set forth in the landmark Chevron U.S.A. v. Natural Resources Defense Council decision prescribes two analytic inquiries, and for good reason. The familiar two-step analysis is best understood as a framework for allocating interpretive authority in the administrative state; it separates questions of statutory implementation assigned to independent judicial judgment (Step One) from questions regarding which the courts role is limited to oversight of agency decisionmaking (Step Two).

The boundary between a reviewing court's decision and oversight roles rests squarely on the question of statutory ambiguity ...


Chevron'S Two Steps, Kenneth A. Bamberger, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2008

Chevron'S Two Steps, Kenneth A. Bamberger, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

Contrary to a suggestion by Professors Matthew Stephenson and Adrian Vermeule ("Chevron has Only One Step," forthcoming in Va. L. Rev.), Chevron v. NRDC's model for judicial review of agency interpretations of regulatory statutes involves two "steps" – and for good reason. The two-step analysis provides a framework for allocating interpretive authority in the administrative state, by separating those questions of statutory implementation assigned to independent judicial judgment (Step One) from those regarding which courts' role is limited to oversight of agency decisionmaking (Step Two).

At Chevron's first step, courts should begin by identifying whether congressional instructions clearly either ...


Overseers Or "The Deciders" – The Courts In Administrative Law, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2007

Overseers Or "The Deciders" – The Courts In Administrative Law, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

The Real World of Arbitrariness Review (q.v.) supplements Professors Miles and Sunsteins' valuable empirical analysis of federal court of appeals Chevron decisions, with a similar analysis of merits review of EPA and NLRB actions they associate with the Court's contemporary decision in State Farm. Their analysis shows political patterns that are perhaps not surprising; one should perhaps celebrate the evidence of effective moderation on mixed panels, although doubting whether measures intended to produce such panels might tend more to legitimize than to cure the politicization of judging.

This brief responsive essay begins by setting out a framework for ...