Year of Graduation


Level of Access

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period


Department or Program

Government and Legal Studies

First Advisor

Jeffrey S. Selinger


When Congress passes a bill, it produces words on a page. Who decides what those words mean? Historically, the onus of a statute’s interpretation has rested with the federal agencies charged with its implementation. The Chevron doctrine, a two-step standard that affords federal agencies significant latitude in interpreting their own enabling legislation, has been the applicable deference regime in statutory interpretation cases since 1984. Contrary to this tradition, recent Supreme Court jurisprudence has reasserted the primacy of the judiciary in statutory interpretation cases, often ignoring Chevron entirely. In 2023, the Court granted certiorari to Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, a case that explicitly asked the Court to consider overruling Chevron vs. NRDC, a foundational case in the field of administrative law. This thesis explores the implications of eroding deference to federal agencies through a case study of the Food and Drug Administration and two of its responsibilities. Ultimately, there are potentially negative consequences to limiting agency jurisdiction via eviscerating judicial deference that counsel a more discerning approach.