Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. NRDC, 467 US 837 (1984) - 560 Very important case Deals with the review process when it is alleged that the agency has overstepped its statutory authority What was the issue? Whether the EPA had the authority under the Clean Air Act to use the "bubble" approach to stationary sources, i.e., treating one plant as a single source, which gave more flexibility in trading off emissions between different processes in the plant Chevron Step One Did congress give specific guidance in the statute? This can be positive or negative - i.e., the statute might allow the action, or clearly prohibit it Chevron Step Two If congress did not speak directly to the issue, is the agency's interpretation reasonable under the general intent of the enabling act? Did Congress speak directly to this issue? Why did Congress want to balance in enforcing the Clean Air Act? The economic interest in continued industrial development and cleaning up the environment Why did Congress not spell out how it wanted the law to be enforced? Requires changing technical expertise Political Hot Potato How do you decide congressional intent? What is in the law itself? What is in the formal legislative history, i.e., committee documents and the like? What was said at hearings on the statute? How can legislative history be manipulated? Ever see those speeches to an empty chamber? You can introduce reports that were never approved or reviewed by a committee The committee can mask its view of the law with bogus history Scalia usually is against legislative history and Breyer is for it, but in some cases like the FDA Tobacco Case they switch roles. What did the Court Rule? What did the court find in step two about the legality of the EPA standard? The bubble was OK How is step two very much like the arbitrary and capricious standard? How are Courts and Agencies Different? What does the United States Supreme Court say is different about the roles of courts and agencies in resolving political questions? The court must be neutral The agency should carry out the executive's policies What factors indicate to the court that the agency is probably correct? 1) Procedure - was there a full notice and comment process, which would tend to identify legal problems 2) Thoroughness of consideration - how well does the agency make and document its rational for the interpretation? 3) Contemporaneous Construction - does the interpretation date back to the drafting of the law and was the agency involved in the drafting? 4) Long-standing construction 5) Consistency - is it consistent with the agency's interpretation of similar laws? 6) Reliance - have people been relying on the interpretation? 7) Reenactment - did This usually happens by congress endorse the congress knowing about interpretation in some the interpretation while it manner? is amending the law, and not changing the law to block the interpretation.
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