Washington Law Review


Susan K. Goplen


In Lechmere, Inc. v. NLRB, the Supreme Court held that when interpreting administrative statutes, the Court will defer to its own previous interpretations rather than defer to administrative agencies' interpretations of statutes. Thus, the Court determined that stare decisis is dominant over judicial deference to administrative agencies. The Court decided Lechmere, Inc. v. NLRB wrongly. The rationales for deference to agencies exist whether or not the courts have addressed the statute in question. Therefore, courts should apply the doctrine of judicial deference even when courts have previously interpreted a statute.

First Page