TITLE

Between Seminole Rock and a Hard Place: A New Approach to Agency Deference

AUTHOR(S)
LESKE, KEVIN O.
PUB. DATE
November 2013
SOURCE
Connecticut Law Review;Nov2013, Vol. 46 Issue 1, p227
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
In Bowles v. Seminole Rock & Sand Co. the United States Supreme Court held that federal courts must defer to an administrative agency's interpretation of its own regulation unless the interpretation "is plainly erroneous or inconsistent with the regulation." Astoundingly, despite its doctrinal significance and practical importance to our administrative state, the Seminole Rock deference doctrine has gone largely unexamined both by the legal community and by the Supreme Court, particularly when compared to the landmark deference doctrines announced in Skidmore v. Swift & Co. and Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. This Article explores the genesis of this deference regime and analyzes the Supreme Court's articulation, application, and interpretation of the Seminole Rock doctrine from its inception in 1945 to the present day. The Article then proposes a new approach to the Seminole Rock doctrine. Under this new approach, courts would apply a two-step test to determine whether to defer to an agency's interpretation of its regulation. By relying upon objective factors, thereby limiting the subjective inquiry, this new approach falls comfortably between Chevron's controlling deference and Skidmore's less deferential treatment that courts currently apply when reviewing an agency's interpretation of a statutory provision. Such an approach would refine the deference regime to achieve better workability, greater fairness, transparency, and increased public participation. It would also balance the competing regulatory and separation of powers concerns inherent in this critical deference question.
ACCESSION #
93436876

 

Related Articles

  • PETER STRAUSS: TEACHER, SCHOLAR, AND AMBASSADOR AT LARGE. PIERCE JR., RICHARD J. // Administrative Law Review;Spring2015, Vol. 67 Issue 2, p369 

    In this article, the author reflects on several articles by Peter Strauss, teacher of administrative law, at the Columbia Law School. It mentions the articles on several topics including separation of the powers with the functions of government agencies, lack of resources with the U.S. Supreme...

  • Legal After-Shocks on the Energy Seismograph: Judicial Prohibition of Recent State Regulation and Promotion of Power. Ferrey, Steven // Environmental Law Reporter: News & Analysis;Jun2015, Vol. 45 Issue 6, p10523 

    The article discusses several court cases in the U.S. which deals with the energy sector. These cases include the City of Arlington, Texas v. FCC over whether a government agency can construe its jurisdiction based on the judicial deference of automobile firm Chevron USA LLC. Also explored are...

  • CHEVRON AS A DOCTRINE OF HARD CASES. LIU, FREDERICK // Administrative Law Review;Spring2014, Vol. 66 Issue 2, p285 

    The article discusses the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the 1984 case Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council Inc. which deals with American administrative law and reasonable agency constructions of apparently ambiguous statutes in the U.S. Legal positivism and the notion of...

  • Pennhurst, Chevron, and the Spending Power. Smith, Peter J. // Yale Law Journal;May2001, Vol. 110 Issue 7, p1187 

    Presents an essay about the doctrine of the Pennhurst State School & Hospital versus Halderman and the inquiry of the Chevron U.S.A. versus Natural Resources Defense Council. Discussion on agency interpretations of federal statutes as the general rule of Chevron deference; Analysis of the...

  • WHY AGENCY INTERPRETATIONS OF AMBIGUOUS STATUTES SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO STARE DECISIS. Greenberg, Harold M. // Tennessee Law Review;Spring2012, Vol. 79 Issue 3, p573 

    The article discusses the interpretation of ambiguous statutes by U.S. government agencies under the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the case Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Nat. Res. Def. Council Inc. as of April 2012, focusing on a call for the application of the stare decisis legal principle to these...

  • UNITED STATES V. HOME CONCRETE & SUPPLY, LLC: MAKING "AMBIGUOUS" AMBIGUOUS. Pierce, W. Matthew // Denver University Law Review;2012, Vol. 90 Issue 1, p295 

    Courts have long given some amount of deference to executive agencies charged with administering bodies of law. When a statute is ambiguous, the agency charged with administering the statute may be better positioned than the courts to interpret it. But when is a statute ambiguous? How does a...

  • POLICYMAKING UNDER THE BUSH II NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? Twomey, David P. // Labor Law Journal;Summer2008, Vol. 59 Issue 2, p141 

    The article discusses the perceived politicization of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The history of the manner in which board members are appointed to the board is given. The NLRB under U.S. President George W. Bush is detailed. A description of the U.S. Supreme Court's analytical...

  • Chevron Deference and the Dodd-Frank Act. Cooney, John F. // Administrative & Regulatory Law News;Spring2012, Vol. 37 Issue 3, p7 

    The article discusses the allocation by the U.S. Congress of overlapping authority to multiple agencies under the Dodd-Frank law and the prinicipal Supreme Court decisions governing application of deference in the Chevron USA Inc. v Natural Resources Defense Council Inc. case. It notes the...

  • Chapter 3: Deference to Agency Interpretations: Abdication to Ambiguity. Lastowka, James A.; Sapper, Arthur G. // Energy & Mineral Law Institute;1999, Issue 20, p103 

    The article focuses on the effects and the correctness of the decision of the Supreme Court in the Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council. The authors discuss when, and to what extent, a court or adjudicative agency must defer to interpretations of statutes or regulations by an...

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics