Justice Scalia and the Evolution of Chevron Deference 9-17-2016
Summary: For over thirty years, the seminal Supreme Court decision in Chevron v. NRDC has provided the principles used to determine the extent to which a court reviewing agency action should defer to the agency’s interpretation of its own rules as well as fill in “blanks” in the text. For much of his career on the Supreme Court, Justice Scalia (and the Court) deferred to this decision. However, late in his tenure, Justice Scalia had begun to reconsider Chevron deference. For the Chevron example, in his opinions in King v. Burwell andUtility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, Justice Scalia criticized agencies’ assertions of unprecedented power. This panel will explore how judicial deference to agency decision-making has evolved since and whether it is time to revisit the doctrine of “Chevron deference.” How might Justice Scalia have come down on US v. Texas, net neutrality, or the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan”? Might his views have continued to evolve if he had remained on the Court? And what is the future of Chevron deference with the Roberts Court? Is a new balance between courts and agencies needed? -- This panel took place on September 17, 2016, during the Second Annual Texas Chapters Conference in Austin, Texas. The theme for the conference was "The Separation of Powers in the Administrative State". -- Welcome by Hon. Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General. Introduction by Mr. Prerak Shah, Senior Counsel to the Attorney General. Panel One: Prof. Aditya Bamzai, Associate Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law; Prof. Ron Beal, Baylor University Law School; Hon. Charles J. Cooper, Partner, Cooper & Kirk, PLLC and former Assistant U.S. Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel; and Prof. Aaron Nielson, Brigham Young University Law School. Moderator: Hon. Edith Jones, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. Introduction: Ms. Karen Lugo, Director, Center for Tenth Amendment Action, Texas Public Policy Foundation.