Food & Drug Administration v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp

Steiner, Heather
August 2001
Ecology Law Quarterly;2001, Vol. 28 Issue 2, p355
Academic Journal
The United States Supreme Court invalidated the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) attempt to regulate tobacco under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). The significance of this decision for environmental purposes is in the Court's altered application of the long-standing two-step Chevron Doctrine. Rather than turn to the plain meaning of the statute, the Court expanded Chevron's first step to include the "context" of the regulatory scheme. By expanding the interpretive tools under Chevron's step one, the Court could determine Congressional intent without having to reach the "reasonableness" of the FDA's decision under step two. Without the deference principle typically afforded under Chevron's second step, attempts by environmental agencies to assert authority in uncharted areas of regulation may be significantly jeopardized.


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