Justice Stevens's most famous decision – Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. NRDC – has come to stand for an institutional choice approach to agency interpretation. But there is no evidence that Justice Stevens shared this understanding. Instead, he followed an equilibrium-preserving approach, which sought to nudge agencies to reconsider decisions the Justice regarded as unreasonable. Although the equilibrium-preserving approach is consistent with what a common law judge would embrace, the institutional choice perspective is probably more consistent with the needs of the modem administrative state, and it appears the Court as a whole is gradually adopting that perspective.
Thomas W. Merrill,
Justice Stevens and the Chevron Puzzle,
Nw. U. L. Rev.
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