Restoring Chevron's Domain

21 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2016 Last revised: 1 Mar 2017

See all articles by Jonathan H. Adler

Jonathan H. Adler

Case Western Reserve University School of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Date Written: August 22, 2016


For some three decades, Chevron USA v. Natural Resources Defense Council has stood at the center of administrative law. Today, however, there are doubts about the doctrine’s continued vitality, and perhaps even its ultimate desirability. This brief article, based upon remarks delivered at Missouri Law Review symposium, suggests the scope of Chevron’s domain should be determined by its doctrinal grounding. Specifically, insofar as the Court’s subsequent application and elucidation of Chevron have indicated that the doctrine is predicated on a theory of delegation, courts should only provide such deference when the relevant power has been delegated by Congress. Correspondingly, such deference should be withheld when such delegation is absent. Chevron should only prevail when confined to its proper domain, and its domain is a product of delegation.

Keywords: Chevron v. NRDC, Chevron deference, Delegation, Judicial review of agency action

JEL Classification: K23, K49

Suggested Citation

Adler, Jonathan H., Restoring Chevron's Domain (August 22, 2016). 81 Missouri Law Review 988 (2017), Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-30, Available at SSRN:

Jonathan H. Adler (Contact Author)

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