The Future of Deference

24 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2015

See all articles by Richard J. Pierce

Richard J. Pierce

George Washington University Law School

Date Written: October 12, 2015


In this essay, Professor Pierce describes the history of the deference doctrines the Supreme Court has announced and applied to agency interpretations of ambiguous statutes and rules over the last seventy years. He predicts that the Court will continue to reduce the scope and strength of those doctrines, in part because of increasing concern about the temporal inconsistencies created by those doctrines. In the current highly polarized political environment, deference doctrines create a legal environment in which the "law" applicable to many agency actions changes every time a President of one party replaces a President of the other party.

Keywords: administrative law

Suggested Citation

Pierce, Richard J., The Future of Deference (October 12, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Richard J. Pierce (Contact Author)

George Washington University Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202-994-1549 (Phone)
202-994-5157 (Fax)

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