Christensen v. Harris County, 529 U.S. 576, 14 (2000)

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Cite as: 529 U. S. 576 (2000)

Opinion of Scalia, J.

Justice Souter, concurring.

I join the opinion of the Court on the assumption that it does not foreclose a reading of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 that allows the Secretary of Labor to issue regulations limiting forced use.

Justice Scalia, concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.

I join the judgment of the Court and all of its opinion except Part III, which declines to give effect to the position of the Department of Labor in this case because its opinion letter is entitled only to so-called "Skidmore deference," see Skidmore v. Swift & Co., 323 U. S. 134, 140 (1944). Skid-more deference to authoritative agency views is an anachronism, dating from an era in which we declined to give agency interpretations (including interpretive regulations, as opposed to "legislative rules") authoritative effect. See EEOC v. Arabian American Oil Co., 499 U. S. 244, 259 (1991) (Scalia, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment). This former judicial attitude accounts for that provision of the 1946 Administrative Procedure Act which exempted "interpretative rules" (since they would not be authoritative) from the notice-and-comment requirements applicable to rulemaking, see 5 U. S. C. 553(b)(A).

That era came to an end with our watershed decision in Chevron U. S. A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U. S. 837, 844 (1984), which established the principle that "a court may not substitute its own construction of a statutory provision for a reasonable interpretation made by the administrator of an agency." * While Chevron in fact

*I do not comprehend Justice Breyer's contention, post, at 596-597 (dissenting opinion), that Skidmore deference—that special respect one gives to the interpretive views of the expert agency responsible for administering the statute—is not an anachronism because it may apply in "circumstances in which Chevron-type deference is inapplicable." Chevron-

589

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