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Columbia Law School

Columbia Law Review

Law and Politics

2012

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Full-Text Articles in Law

"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 ...