Accommodating the Administrative State: The Interrelationship between the Chevron and Nondelegation
Patrick M. Garry
University of South Dakota - School of Law
Arizona State Law Journal, Vol. 38, No. 4, 2006
Accommodating the Administrative State: The Interrelationship Between the Chevron and Nondelegation Doctrines addresses the interrelationship between two of the more prominent doctrines in administrative law - the nondelegation doctrine and the Chevron doctrine. The article argues that even though the Chevron doctrine has come under intense criticism, it is the logical result of how the nondelegation doctrine has evolved since the late 1930s.
During the constitutional revolution of the New Deal, the Court adopted a deferential model of the nondelegation doctrine, enabling Congress to delegate broad regulatory powers to administrative agencies. This deferential model has become so accepted by the courts that not once since the New Deal has the nondelegation doctrine been used to strike down a congressional enactment. The Chevron doctrine, however, has not been so universally accepted. This doctrine contradicts traditional legal principles by giving to administrative agencies the power to interpret the statutes they administer, hence requiring courts to defer to agencies on questions of law. Many critics argue that Chevron violates separation of powers, since it gives to the executive branch a power traditionally exercised by the judiciary. Contrary to this position, the article argues that Chevron is a necessary and logical extension of the generally accepted nondelegation doctrine. In essence, both doctrines have become necessary to support and sustain the modern administrative state.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 39
Keywords: Administrative law, Administrative state, Nondelegation doctrine, Chevron doctrine, Separation of powers, New Deal
JEL Classification: K20, K23, K29
Date posted: September 29, 2007