Arlington V. FCC Should Clarify Agency Deference

Law360, New York (December 21, 2012, 12:06 PM EST) -- Administrative agencies do not make law. Congress does. But when Congress makes a law, it sometimes also chooses to empower an administrative agency to clarify the law’s ambiguous terms. Congress does so because it may not be positioned to focus on a law’s every detail, especially those that require technical or specialized expertise.

A court honors Congress’s choice by applying what is known as the Chevron doctrine: that when Congress commits a statutory question to an agency, a court must accept the agency’s reasonable answer, even...
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