The Constitutional Limits of Chevron Deference: Meaning Versus Policy

10 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2018

See all articles by Larry Alexander

Larry Alexander

University of San Diego School of Law

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

The key to understanding the constitutional limits of Chevron deference is the distinction between meaning and policy. The courts must enforce their understanding of Congress’ intended meaning, not an agency’s understanding of that meaning to the extent it is different from that of the courts. Courts are obligated to apply the law as they understand it to the litigants before them. And if they understand the law to mean X, then they must apply X to the litigants, even if the relevant agency interprets the law to mean Y.

Keywords: ambiguity; vagueness; policymaking; interpretation; Chevron

JEL Classification: K10, K40

Suggested Citation

Alexander, Lawrence, The Constitutional Limits of Chevron Deference: Meaning Versus Policy (2018). San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 18-359. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3247186 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3247186

Lawrence Alexander (Contact Author)

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States
619-260-2317 (Phone)
619-260-4728 (Fax)

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