The Three Phases of Mead

28 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2014 Last revised: 15 Nov 2014

See all articles by Kristin E. Hickman

Kristin E. Hickman

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - School of Law

Date Written: November 6, 2014


In United States v. Mead Corp., the Supreme Court limited the reach of its Chevron standard of judicial review for agency statutory interpretations, both by identifying congressional delegation as the premise guiding chevron’s scope and by unequivocally resurrecting the standard of review articulated in Skidmore v. Swift & Co. as the alternative where Chevron does not apply. Yet for many courts and commentators, Mead has proven just as confusing and controversial as Chevron, largely because the Court itself has been inconsistent in its rhetoric regarding Mead. Written for a symposium entitled Chevron at 30, this essay attempts to bring some order to the madness by examining three different approaches to Mead, Chevron, and Skidmore reflected in the Court’s post-Mead jurisprudence, and also by exploring the circuit courts’ handling of the Court’s rhetorical inconsistency.

Keywords: chevron, skidmore, mead, judicial review

JEL Classification: K23

Suggested Citation

Hickman, Kristin E., The Three Phases of Mead (November 6, 2014). Fordham Law Review, Vol. 83, 2014, Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14-43, Available at SSRN:

Kristin E. Hickman (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - School of Law ( email )

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Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
612-624-2915 (Phone)

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