Document Type


Publication Title

Vanderbilt Law Review

Publication Date




Page Number



judicial deference, agency interpretations, administrative law


Administrative Law | Law


Judicial deference to agency interpretations of their own statutes is a foundational principle of the administrative state. It recognizes that Congress has the need and desire to delegate the details of regulatory policy to agencies rather than specify those details or default to judicial determinations. It also recognizes that interpretation under regulatory statutes is intertwined with implementation of those statutes. Prior to the famous decision in Chevron, the Supreme Court had long regarded judicial deference as a foundational principle of administrative law. It grew up with the administrative state alongside other foundational administrative law principles. In Chevron, the Court gave judicial deference a particular articulation and set of express justifications that made the principle seem new and bold-and ultimately set it on a path to become convoluted and vulnerable. But judicial deference is no less a foundational principle because Chevron took on a life of its own. And foundational principles-particularly those that help to maintain balance among the branches-do not simply go away. They change and reappear in the law. The Court can try to kill Chevron, but judicial deference will find its way back to administrative law.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.