In Chevron, the Supreme Court set forth a legal test as to when the court should defer to the agency’s answer or interpretation, holding that such judicial deference is appropriate where the agency’s answer was not unreasonable, so long as the Congress had not spoken directly to the precise issue at question.
On this day in 1984, the Supreme Court decided Chevron v. National Resources Defense Council, which created the doctrine that courts normally must defer to government agencies when a law’s language is ambiguous.
“Chevron can help an agency and administration increase or decrease, say, environmental regulation, labor regulation, the strictness of anti-discrimination laws, etc. … In those cases, courts are more likely simply to check if the agency is acting rationally, considering all the arguments, and explaining its decision.”
Despite this criticism, the Chevron framework of review remains good law, and one recent study shows that the federal circuit courts of appeals have consistently applied Chevron to defer to agency interpretations.
Chevron allows judges to be transparent in admitting when they find statutes sufficiently ambiguous that deference to the agency makes sense. The absence of Chevron would not eliminate statutory ambiguity or judicial inclina- tions to defer to agencies’ attempts to fill those gaps.
Law professor Cass R. Sunstein makes the case that a judicial deference principle, like the one articulated in Chevron can help courts and agencies discern the meaning of ambiguous laws. Such a principle might bridge the divide between traditional constitutional law and administrative law.
A bit of background: in the Chevron decision—handed down in 1984—the Supreme Court ruled that certain federal agency interpretations of federal statutes are to be upheld so long as they are reasonable and permissible readings, even if they are not the interpretations that courts would embrace in the first instance.
The bubble concept allows a firm to treat an entire plant site as a source for purposes of determining whether the firm is required to obtain a permit to make changes in the combustion equipment at a plant site.
In its relatively brief life span, Chevron has been cited in 11,760 judicial decisions and 2,130 administrative decisions.
The latest claim is that the very concept of Chevron deference is unconstitutional. Judges, legislators, and scholars have suggested that the Constitution imposes a duty on courts to exercise “independent judgment” when interpreting a statute.
Chevron deference, or Chevron doctrine, is an administrative law principle that compels federal courts to defer to a federal agency’s interpretation of an ambiguous or unclear statute that Congress delegated to the agency to administer.
Interpretations reached through formal processes that have the force and effect of law are most likely to qualify for Chevron deference. In contrast, interpretations reached through informal processes, and which are neither binding nor precedential, are unlikely to be eligible for Chevron deference.
In Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council (1984), the Court held that courts have no power to choose particular readings of ambiguous statutes, but must allow the relevant agencies to adopt any reasonable interpretive choice.
Deference, or judicial deference, is a principle of judicial review. In the context of administrative law, deference applies when a federal court yields to an agency’s interpretation of either a statute that Congress instructed the agency to administer or a regulation promulgated by the agency.
Black’s Law Dictionary defines “arbitrary and capricious” as “[a] willful and unreasonable action without consideration or in disregard of facts or law.” Admittedly, this is a tough burden for the challenger.
The principle of judicial deference refers to the extent to which the judiciary ought to defer to the sovereignty and legitimacy of Parliament when coming to judgments.
Unlike Chevron deference, which requires that a federal court defer to an agency’s interpretation of a statute that the agency administers if the underlying statute is unclear and the agency’s interpretation is deemed reasonable, Auer deference only applies to an agency’s interpretation of its own unclear regulation.
Under the Chevron standard, courts should defer to an agency’s interpretation of law and of fact. The Chevron standard requires the court to ask two questions: first, did Congress ______ address the issue in dispute?
Step One of Chevron enables reviewing courts to preserve their traditional authority over determining statutory meaning.
10th Amendment – Rights Reserved to States or People | The National Constitution Center.
The Chevron decision created a two part test to determine regulatory authority. First, the court must determine whether Congress spoke directly to the question at issue. If so, then the court defers to the statute.
Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984), was a landmark case in which the United States Supreme Court set forth the legal test for determining whether to grant deference to a government agency’s interpretation of a statute which it administers.
The Clean Air Act is the law that defines EPA’s responsibilities for protecting and improving the nation’s air quality and the stratospheric ozone layer. The last major change in the law, the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, was enacted by Congress in 1990. Legislation passed since then has made several minor changes.
Hard look review is an application of the arbitrary-or-capricious test, which is a legal standard of review used by judges to assess the actions of administrative agencies.
Logical Outgrowth Test: Notice is adequate if the changes in the original plan are in character with the original scheme and the final rule is a logical outgrowth of the notice and comments already given. … Notice is inadequate where an issue is only addressed in the most general terms in the initial proposal.
Limits on the power of agencies to promulgate regulations include: The regulation must lie within a grant of power from Congress, and that delegation must in turn be constitutional (courts almost never invalidate a regulation on this ground).
The Chevron framework of review usually applies if Congress has given an agency the general authority to make rules with the force of law. If Chevron applies, a court asks at step one whether Congress directly addressed the precise issue before the court, using traditional tools of statutory construction.
It also applies Chevron to an astounding 84.1% of informal agency interpretations, i.e., interpretations that do not involve notice-and-comment procedures or formal agency adjudication. This is forty percentage points more than the median circuit applies Chevron to such informal interpretations.
The Sixth Circuit has now rejected Chevron deference for the Bump-Stock Rule, on the basis of a broad conclusion that an interpretation of a criminal statute cannot get deference. The opinion was written by Judge Batchelder and joined by Judge Murphy; Judge White dissented.
Arbitrary and capricious is a legal ruling wherein an appellate court determines that a previous ruling is invalid because it was made on unreasonable grounds or without any proper consideration of circumstances. This is an extremely deferential standard.
Under the rule of stare decisis, courts are obligated to uphold their previous rulings or the rulings made by higher courts within the same court system. … Therefore, decisions that the highest court makes become binding precedent or obligatory stare decisis for the lower courts in the system.