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2016

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

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Defining Ambiguity In Broken Statutory Frameworks And Its Limits On Agency Action, Amanda Urban Oct 2016

Defining Ambiguity In Broken Statutory Frameworks And Its Limits On Agency Action, Amanda Urban

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

“The Problem” occurs when a statute’s provisions become contradictory or unworkable in the context of new or unforeseen phenomena, yet the statute mandates agency action. The application of an unambiguous statutory provision may become problematic or unclear. Similarly, unambiguous provisions may become inconsistent given a particular application of the statute. During the same term, in Scialabba and UARG, the Supreme Court performed a Chevron review of agency interpretations of statutes facing three variations of the Problem, which this Note characterizes as direct conflict, internal inconsistency, and unworkability. In each case, the Court defined ambiguity in various, nontraditional ways and …