Why the Filed Rate Doctrine Should Not Imply Blanket Judicial Deference to Regulatory Agencies
Vanderbilt University - Law School
December 21, 2008
Administrative & Regulatory Law News, Fall 2008
FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 329
The filed rate doctrine is a venerable doctrine of public utility regulation. Federal courts applying the doctrine frequently defer to the regulatory agency and refuse to consider the merits of alleged violations of antitrust, tort or contract claims where resolution would require a departure from a filed rate. For over a century, the filed rate doctrine has served many important purposes. However, with increased attention to market-based approaches to electric power, natural gas and telecommunications regulation, there is reason to question both the doctrine's continued applicability and usefulness. This short essay argues that, as regulators implement competitive markets in utility industries, at a minimum the traditional principles of deference which courts applied in this context need to be reassessed.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 6
Keywords: Judicial Review, Antitrust, Regulated Industries
Date posted: December 22, 2008 ; Last revised: January 10, 2009
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