Judicial Deference Reform Act

Summary

The model restores judicial autonomy by prohibiting state courts and state administrative hearing or appeal officers from exercising bias and deferring to a state agency’s interpretation of a state statute or regulation. After the customary tools of interpretation have been applied to discern the meaning of a statute or regulation, the judge or review officer must exercise remaining doubt in favor of a reasonable interpretation that limits the scope of agency power and maximizes individual liberty.

Judicial Deference Reform Act

Section 1.

 

In interpreting a state statute, regulation, or other sub-regulatory document, a state court or an officer hearing an administrative action may not defer to a state agency’s interpretation of it, and must instead interpret its meaning and effect de novo. In actions brought by or against state agencies, after applying all customary tools of interpretation, the court or hearing officer must exercise any remaining doubt in favor of a reasonable interpretation which limits agency power and maximizes individual liberty.