Judicial Deference to Inconsistent Agency Statutory Interpretations
AbstractAlthough administrative law doctrine requires courts to defer to an agency’s reasonable statutory interpretation, the doctrine is unclear as to whether an agency gets less deference when it changes its own prior interpretation. We formally analyze how judicial deference to revised agency interpretations affects the ideological content of agencies’ interpretations. We find a nonmonotonic relationship between judicial deference to inconsistent agency interpretations and interpretive extremism. This relationship arises because as courts become less deferential to revised interpretations, the initial agency finds it more attractive to promulgate a moderate interpretation that will not be revised. However, the less deferential the courts, the more extreme this moderate interpretation becomes. Normatively, our results suggest that an interest in responsiveness of interpretive policy to the preferences of the incumbent leadership favors deference to revised interpretations, whereas an interest in ideological moderation favors a somewhat less deferential posture to interpretive revisions.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Legal Studies.
Volume (Year): 40 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 85 - 113
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLS/
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.