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Vanderbilt University Law School

2009

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Judicial review

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Reclaiming The Legal Fiction Of Congressional Delegation, Lisa Schultz Bressman Jan 2009

Reclaiming The Legal Fiction Of Congressional Delegation, Lisa Schultz Bressman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The framework for judicial review of agency statutory interpretations is based on a legal fiction – namely, that Congress intends to delegate interpretive authority to agencies. Critics argue that the fiction is false because Congress is unlikely to think about the delegation of interpretive authority at all, or in the way that the Court imagines. They also contend that the fiction is fraudulent because the Court does actually care about whether Congress intends to delegate interpretive authority in any particular instance, but applies a presumption triggered by statutory ambiguity or a particularized analysis involving factors unrelated to congressional delegation. In this ...