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54 Admin. L. Rev. 719 (2002)
Judicial Review of Informal Statutory Interpretations: The Answer Is Chevron Step Two, Not Christensen or Mead

handle is hein.journals/admin54 and id is 729 raw text is: JUDICIAL REVIEW OF INFORMAL STATUTORY
INTERPRETATIONS:
THE ANSWER IS CHEVRON STEP TWO, NOT
CHRISTENSEN OR MEAD
WILLIAM S. JORDAN, 111*
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction  ........................................................................................... 719
I. The Perceived Problems with Informal Interpretations ................. 720
II. The Court's Response: The Christensen Conundrum and the
M ead  M ess  ................................................................................. 721
A. The Christensen Conundrum ......................... 722
B .  The M ead  M ess .................................................................... 725
III. The Answers the Court Missed: Chevron Step Two Review and
Prim ary  Jurisdiction  ................................................................... 727
TV. Drawing     the    Line-Congress      Must    Have    Delegated
Lawmaking Power to the Agency ................................................ 730
Conclusion: What We Need After Christensen and Mead ...................... 732
INTRODUCTION
The U.S. Supreme Court has taken the wrong approach to review of in-
formal statutory interpretations issued by administrative agencies. First in
Christensen v. Harris County,' then in United States v. Mead Corp.,2 the
Court created a cumbersome, unworkable regime under which courts must
draw increasingly fine distinctions using impossibly vague standards.3 If
courts are able to draw such fine distinctions, they will then, presumably
with some frequency, issue binding statutory interpretations that usurp
* C. Blake McDowell Professor of Law, University of Akron School of Law. B.A.,
Stanford University, J.D., University ofMichigan Law School.
1. 529 U.S. 576 (2000).
2. 533 U.S. 218 (2001).
3. See William S. Jordan, IR  United States v. Mead: Complicating the Delegation
Dance, 31 Envtl. L. Rep. (EnvtL L. Inst.) 11,425, 11,429-30 (2001) (discussing how courts
have responded to changes brought about by Mead).

719

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