United States v. Haggar Apparel Co., 526 U.S. 380, 12 (1999)

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Cite as: 526 U. S. 380 (1999)

Opinion of the Court

further administrative or adjudicative procedures as the court considers necessary to reach the correct decision."

The authority of the Court of International Trade to order additional proceedings to reach the correct decision, as well as its duty to "make its determinations upon the basis of the record made before the court," 2640(a), and its authority to consider new grounds not advanced to the agency, 2638, are said to be inconsistent with deference to an agency's regulation.

A central theme in respondent's argument is that the trial court proceedings may be, as they were in this case, de novo, and hence the court owes no deference to the regulation under Chevron principles. Brief for Respondent 16-28. The conclusion does not follow from the premise. Valid regulations establish legal norms. Courts can give them proper effect even while applying the law to newfound facts, just as any court conducting a trial in the first instance must conform its rulings to controlling statutes, rules, and judicial precedents. Though Congress might have chosen to direct the court not to pay deference to the agency's views, we do not find that directive in these statutes. Cf. Scalia, Judicial Deference to Administrative Interpretations of Law, 1989 Duke L. J. 511, 515-516 (suggesting that "[i]f . . . Congress had specified that in all suits involving interpretation or application of [a statute] the courts were to give no deference to the agency's views, but were to determine the issue de novo," Chevron deference would be inappropriate). De novo proceedings presume a foundation of law. The question here is whether the regulations are part of that controlling law. Deference can be given to the regulations without impairing the authority of the court to make factual determinations, and to apply those determinations to the law, de novo.

The Court of Appeals held in this case, and in previous cases presenting the issue, that these regulations were not entitled to deference because the Court of International Trade is charged to " 'reach the correct decision' " in deter-


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