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The Death of Chevron Deference? A Potential Shift in Federal Court Reviews of Agency Decisions

8 February 2017

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On January 11, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would, among other things, eliminate the deference that federal courts currently must afford agency legal interpretations -- a judicial doctrine generally known as Chevron deference. This legislation is one step in a series of attempts to reduce the Executive Branch’s ability to shape federal law through agency actions. The Chevron provision, which passed the House but not the Senate last year, is now included in a broader bill that would add a host of new duties on agencies seeking to regulate, including requirements to undertake cost-benefit analyses and to provide hearings where certain evidence on which the rules is based is contested, and restrictions on agency use of “guidance” documents.