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Columbia Law School

1992

Environmental Law

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Judicial Deference To Executive Precedent, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 1992

Judicial Deference To Executive Precedent, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

In 1984, the Supreme Court adopted a new framework for determining when courts should defer to interpretations of statutes by administrative agencies. Previous decisions had looked to multiple contextual factors in answering this question. Chevron U.S., Inc. v. National Resources Defense Council, Inc. appeared to reject this approach and require that federal courts defer to any reasonable interpretation by an agency charged with administration of a statute, provided Congress has not clearly specified a contrary answer. The Court justified this new general rule of deference by positing that Congress has implicitly delegated interpretative authority to all agencies charged with ...