Thursday, July 06, 2006

Chevron doctrine

Who uses it: Constitutional lawyers
What it means: A principle established by the Supreme Court's 1984 decision in Chevron USA, Inc v. NRDC (467 US 837), which says that courts should generally defer to an executive agency's interpretation of its own enabling statute.
How you can use it: When asserting your own higher authority.

I stopped by my old employers' office today -- it is not my old office, because they've moved since I worked there -- and found my former colleagues busy assembling materials for a case on this issue before the Supreme Court, to be heard sometime this fall.

The federal agencies love the Chevron doctrine, because it makes life much easier for them; courts are unwilling to hear routine challenges of agency policies. But the idea that an enforcement agency is its own best judge of what it's allowed to do is contrary to the fundamental principle of checks and balances. It's good that the Supreme Court is willing to revisit these questions once in a while.

Today's lunch plans hit a snag when I discovered that one of my favorite restaurants, the Szechuan Pavilion, has closed. It had been a fixture on K Street for more than 20 years, and their chicken chunks in garlic sauce were something to dream about. Instead, Ashton, Chris and I went to Aroma, where the service really isn't as good as it used to be. Sic transit gloria mundi.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're right--there IS something sic about Gloria's world in transit!