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Chevron deference

University of Colorado Law School

Legislation

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Interpreting Indian Country In State Of Alaska V. Native Village Of Venetie, Kristen A. Carpenter Jan 1999

Interpreting Indian Country In State Of Alaska V. Native Village Of Venetie, Kristen A. Carpenter

Articles

According to federal Indian law's canons of construction, statutes enacted for the benefit of American Indians and Alaska Natives must be liberally interpreted in their favor. But a doctrine of statutory interpretation presently challenges certain applications of the Indian canons. Announced by the Supreme Court in Chevron, U.S.A. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., the doctrine requires that courts defer to administrative agency interpretations of ambiguous language in statutes they are authorized to administer. In instances where agencies construe statutes against Indian interests, Chevron deference and the Indian canons dictate opposite results for a reviewing court. This ...