Article Title

Unearthing the Lost History of Seminole Rock

Publication Title

Emory Law Journal


Bowles v. Seminole Rock, deference

Document Type



This Article documents the untethering of Bowles v. Seminole Rock (325 U.S. 410 (1945)). It shows how, in the 1960s and 1970s, alongside an expanding administrative state, the doctrine transformed into a more mechanical and highly deferential form of agency deference. It further shows that this transformation is marked by a consistent lack of scholarly or judicial reflection on its underpinnings. In doing so, this Article provides new depth to the emerging critiques of Seminole Rock deference and lends critical support for reexamination of the doctrine.

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