Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Chevron's Foundation

32 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2009 Last revised: 10 Feb 2010

Mark Seidenfeld

Florida State University College of Law

Date Written: October 16, 2009


How can a court justify deferring to an administrative agency interpretation of a statute under the Chevron doctrine given the accepted understanding that Article III of the Constitution makes the judiciary the ultimate decider of the meaning of law in any case or controversy that is properly before a court? That is the question this article addresses. It further considers the ramifications of the answer to that question on the potential forms that any doctrine of interpretative deference may assume.

This article first rejects congressional intent to delegate interpretative primacy to agencies as the basis for Chevron. It argues that such intent is an unsupportable fiction that distracts attention from judicial responsibility for the Chevron doctrine. Instead, it posits that Chevron is better viewed as a doctrine of judicial self-restraint under the courts’ Article III responsibilities. It then analyzes how this view of Chevron might influence when and how the doctrine should operate.

Keywords: Chevron, Statutory Interpretation, Judicial Review, Deference

Suggested Citation

Seidenfeld, Mark, Chevron's Foundation (October 16, 2009). FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 403. Available at SSRN: or

Mark Seidenfeld (Contact Author)

Florida State University College of Law ( email )

425 W. Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306
United States
850-644-3059 (Phone)
850-644-5487 (Fax)


Paper statistics

Abstract Views