Agency Statutory Interpretation and Policymaking Form
Stack, Kevin M.
In this short symposium contribution, I take up this invitation to examine the relevance of the agency's policymaking form to its approach to statutory interpretation. The core point I wish to advance is a relatively basic one--namely, that an agency's approach to statutory interpretation is in part a function of the policymaking form through which it acts. My strategy is to examine two of the most important policymaking forms--notice-and-comment rulemaking and formal adjudication--and to argue that the considerations that distinguish agency and judicial interpretation have a markedly different place in these two agency policymaking forms. For purposes of exposition, I focus on two dimensions that distinguish agency and judicial statutory interpretation: (1) the role of political influence in general, and presidential direction in particular; and (2) the role of internal management constraints, and considerations of budget in particular.