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Notre Dame Law School

2018

Indian and Aboriginal Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Revisiting Seminole Rock, Jeffrey A. Pojanowski Jan 2018

Revisiting Seminole Rock, Jeffrey A. Pojanowski

Journal Articles

The rule that reviewing courts must defer to agencies’ interpretations of their own regulations has come under scrutiny in recent years. Critics contend that this doctrine, often associated with the 1997 Supreme Court decision Auer v. Robbins, violates the separation of powers, gives agencies perverse regulatory incentives, and undermines the judiciary’s duty to say what the law is.

This essay offers a different argument as to why Auer is literally and prosaically bad law. Auer deference appears to be grounded on a misunderstanding of its originating case, the 1945 decision Bowles v. Seminole Rock. A closer look at Seminole ...