Mead in the Trenches

17 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2003


This essay examines the D.C. Circuit's attempts to implement the important Supreme Court decision in United States v. Mead (2001), which constricted, to an uncertain degree, the scope of deference afforded to agencies' views on questions of law. The essay suggests that the Circuit's day-to-day experience with Mead has been unfortunate, that its Mead-related work product is, in a nontrivial number of cases, seriously flawed, incoherent or ambiguous. It also suggests that these mistakes are traceable to the flaws, fallacies and confusions of the Mead decision itself.

Keywords: D.C. Circuit

Suggested Citation

Vermeule, Adrian, Mead in the Trenches. Available at SSRN: or

Adrian Vermeule (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1525 Massachusetts
Griswold 500
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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