Judicial Deference to the Administration in the United States

  • John C. ReitzEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Ius Comparatum - Global Studies in Comparative Law book series (GSCL, volume 39)


This report on the U.S. law governing judicial deference to decisions by administrative officials argues that there may be a number of reasons why courts may determine as a matter of fact that aspects concerning the making of an administrative decision—including the administrator’s expertise and experience in technical or scientific matters, the administration’s consistency in similar matters, or the care with which the administration justifies its action—warrant some degree of deference to the administrative decision. But the most widely applicable and important type of judicial deference in U.S. law is required as a matter of law in order to preserve the meaningfulness of the zone of discretion which the legislature is normally understood to have delegated to administrative agencies when they are given adjudicative or rulemaking power. These doctrines of de jure judicial deference, the most celebrated of which is Chevron deference, are part of the American system of rather broad diffusion of powers of governance, a pattern that includes but is not limited to the American versions of separation of powers and federalism. Substantial judicial deference to administrative agencies is thus of particular importance to U.S. law because it is part of the system of divided powers that we have in the United States, which is in turn part of the broader pattern of a strongly market-centered (that is, not state-centered) political economy.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Iowa College of LawIowa CityUSA

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