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2017

Statutory interpretation

Vanderbilt Law Review

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Minor Courts, Major Questions, Michael Coenen, Seth Davis Apr 2017

Minor Courts, Major Questions, Michael Coenen, Seth Davis

Vanderbilt Law Review

In Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., the Supreme Court deferred to an agency's controversial interpretation of a key provision of a regulatory statute. Lower courts now apply "Chevron deference" as a matter of course, upholding agencies' reasonable interpretations of ambiguous provisions within the statutes they administer. Recently, however, the Court refused in King v. Burwell to defer to an agency's answer to a statutory question, citing the "deep economic and political significance" of the question itself. The Court in King offered barebones guidance regarding the scope of and rationales for embracing this so-called "major questions exception" …


Reading Remedially: What Does "King V. Burwell" Teach Us About Modern Statutory Interpretation, And Can It Help Solve The Problems Of Cercla § 113(H)?, Benjamin Raker Apr 2017

Reading Remedially: What Does "King V. Burwell" Teach Us About Modern Statutory Interpretation, And Can It Help Solve The Problems Of Cercla § 113(H)?, Benjamin Raker

Vanderbilt Law Review

In the latter half of the twentieth century, Congress drafted a law to solve a problem. As decades passed, that problem became increasingly complex. In the new millennium, Congress became increasingly polarized, and increasingly unproductive. In the face of that inaction, the executive branch decided to rely on a provision of that earlier law to address a modern facet of that earlier problem. Or litigants decided to ask a court to rely on a provision of that earlier law to address a modern facet of that earlier problem. The Congress that drafted the law might not have understood this modern …