Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=268958
 


 



The Judicial Perspective in the Administrative State: Reconciling Modern Doctrines of Deference With the Judiciary's Structural Role


Jonathan T. Molot


Georgetown University Law Center


Stanford Law Review, Vol. 53, No. 1, October 2000

Abstract:     
Recent scholarship on statutory interpretation has emphasized that certain approaches to interpretation may have "instrumental" effects on lawmaking. In this article, Professor Molot argues that judicial influence over legislative behavior is not a new idea, but rather is an important component of our original constitutional structure. Examining the Founders' ideas on language and interpretation, Professor Molot suggests that most Founders viewed law as moderately indeterminate, such that ambiguity could not be completely eliminated but judicial interpretation was constrained by well-established canons of construction. Professor Molot posits that under the constitutional structure, these constraints on judicial interpretation also exerted a moderating influence on the legislative process. Powerless to control interpretation through political means, legislators had incentives to internalize judicial values of fairness and rationality and engage in careful deliberation and drafting. Professor Molot cautions, however, that if the judiciary was positioned by our original constitutional structure to influence legislators, modern doctrines of deference may undermine the judiciary's structural role. Judges today routinely defer to reasonable agency interpretations of ambiguous statutes and regulations, rather than resolving ambiguity themselves. To the extent that interpretative power now resides with politically accountable agencies, rather than politically insulated judges, Professor Molot warns that we may lose an important extra-political influence over legislative deliberation and drafting.

Accepted Paper Series


Not Available For Download

Date posted: May 18, 2001  

Suggested Citation

Molot, Jonathan T., The Judicial Perspective in the Administrative State: Reconciling Modern Doctrines of Deference With the Judiciary's Structural Role. Stanford Law Review, Vol. 53, No. 1, October 2000. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=268958

Contact Information

Jonathan T. Molot (Contact Author)
Georgetown University Law Center ( email )
600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 841

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo7 in 0.235 seconds