Administrative law rarely engages attention except among the poor souls who have devoted their professional lives to the field. A signal exception is the Chevron doctrine, named after the Supreme Court’s unanimous 1984 decision in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council. The doctrine commands judicial deference to administrative agency decisions, even on questions of law that would appear to be the courts’ bread and butter. It has inflamed creedal passions far beyond the administrative law dorkdom—and the passions have not always run the same way. Born in the heady days of the Reagan Administration and championed vehemently and to great effect by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, Chevron soon became conservative-originalist orthodoxy. Today, not so much. Chevron, the refrain now rings, is the bastion of an odious, unaccountable “administrative state.” Whence the commotion and confusion about a recondite doctrine?

The question may seem a bit behind the times, insofar as the Chevron doctrine appears to be on its way out at least as a practical matter and in cases that count. As the book’s author notes, the Supreme Court has not decided a case under Chevron since 2016. It has either ignored the doctrine altogether or else, with increasing frequency, blocked highly contested agency regulations—including

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