Statutory Interpretation

News & Analysis as of

Agencies Must Aim for Recovery of the Species When Designating Critical Habitat

In a decision issued earlier this week, a U.S. District Court rejected the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) interpretation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), finding that its interpretation of the critical habitat...more

Inconsistent Administrative Tribunal Decisions: The Alberta Court of Appeal Weighs In

Conflicting interpretations of the same statute by an administrative tribunal are unlikely to be reasonable, let alone correct, the Alberta Court of Appeal recently held in Altus Group Limited v Calgary (City), 2015 ABCA 86...more

Notice-and-Comment is Not Required for Changes Made to Interpretive Rules

On March 9, 2015, Justice Sotomayor, writing on behalf of the majority, overturned the Paralyzed Veterans doctrine, which requires federal agencies to use a notice-and-comment process before making a significant revision to...more

To Understand King v. Burwell Look To Yates v. US

On March 4, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court heard argument in King v. Burwell, the most publicized case to reach the high court in some time. The issue is whether certain tax subsidies essential to the proper fiscal management...more

Supreme Court’s Perez Decision Shines the Light on Federal Agencies’ Authority to Use “Interpretations” (Often called Shadow...

Over the last three decades, federal agencies have increasingly used “interpretations” to “explain” what a formal regulation means, rather than to go through the more expensive, complicated and slow process of changing the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Validity of Department of Labor’s Interpretation on Overtime Pay for Mortgage Loan Officers

For the past several years, an action by the Mortgage Bankers Association has been brewing in the courts challenging the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) for issuing contradictory opinion letters on whether mortgage loan...more

Supreme Court Ruling Validates DOL’s 2010 Interpretation Regarding FLSA Status of Mortgage-Loan Officers

The Supreme Court recently rejected a challenge to the validity of a 2010 interpretation by the U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”), which had concluded that the administrative exemption of the Fair Labor Standards Act...more

Supreme Court Confirms That Agency Interpretative Rules Do Not Require Notice and Comment

In a March 9, 2015, decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Ass'n., the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that an interpretative rule issued by an administrative agency does not require notice and opportunity for comment,...more

Mortgage Loan Officers are Not Exempt Employees per the DOL and the Supreme Court Says that is Okay

The legal ping-pong match between the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) over whether mortgage loan officers are eligible for overtime appears to be at an end. The Supreme Court recently...more

Who Needs Rules? The DOL Wins Supreme Court Battle In Mortgage Loan Officer Administrator Interpretation vs. Rule Making

When a federal agency deviates significantly in its historic interpretation of a regulation – in this case, doing a complete 180° on whether mortgage loan officers are exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act –...more

Supreme Court Sides with DOL and Overturns Longstanding DC Circuit Ruling Under Administrative Procedure Act

Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Assn., No. 13 1041: On Monday, March 9, 2015, the Court ruled that a longstanding decision from the DC Circuit under the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) was incorrectly decided in contravention...more

Supreme Court Sides with the DOL Regarding Interpretative Rules

In a unanimous decision on Monday, March 9, 2015, the United States Supreme Court gave the Department of Labor (DOL) broad discretion to revise interpretive guidance with little notice. ...more

U.S. Supreme Court Holds That DOL May Change Interpretations of Regulations Without Public Notice and Comment

On March 9, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously in two consolidated cases that a federal agency does not have to go through the formal rulemaking process, which includes providing public notice and an...more

Supreme Court Says Agencies Can Change Rule Interpretation Without Notice and Comment

Companies subject to federal agency regulations sometimes face situations where measures taken to comply with such rules work one day, and then result in violations of those rules the next. Federal administrative agencies...more

In Personal Injury Actions, Prejudgment Interest on Costs Not Recoverable

In Bean v. Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation, 2015 DJDAR 2864 (“Bean”), the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, held in the published portion of its opinion that courts may not award prejudgment interest...more

Supreme Court Authorizes the DOL to Change its Interpretative Guidance without Public Input

On March 9, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association, that the Department of Labor (DOL) may issue its interpretations of wage and hour regulations without seeking input from the...more

Can The FDA Do That?

A little like one of those peanut-shaped asteroids, today’s post cobbles together a couple of recent developments that, other than having relevance to the FDA, do not have all that much in common....more

Mortgage Loan Officer Status Clarified by U.S. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has concluded that interpretations issued by a federal agency are not subject to rule-making processes, such as posting for comment. Thus, as a practical matter it upheld the interpretation —the latest in a...more

Supreme Court Removes a Major Hurdle for Administrative Agency Rulemaking

On March 9, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that when a federal administrative agency wants to amend or repeal an “interpretive rule,” it does not have to follow the notice-and-comment procedures set forth in the...more

Supreme Court Allows Agencies to Re-Interpret Their Regulations Without Rulemaking

On March 9, 2015, the Supreme Court wiped away a longstanding judicial doctrine that had placed greater procedural requirements on a federal agency when it changes its prior interpretation of a federal regulation....more

Supreme Court Upholds DOL's Rulemaking Procedure in Reclassifying Mortgage Loan Officers

On March 9, 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court held that a federal agency is not required to engage in notice-and-comment rulemaking when it issues an interpretation of a regulation that is significantly different from its prior...more

U.S. Supreme Court Reinstates Rule that Mortgage Loan Officers Are Not Exempt From Overtime Laws

On March 9, 2015, the United States Supreme Court decided an important case for financial institutions concerning the treatment of Mortgage Loan Officers ("MLO's") under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). The general rule...more

Supreme Court Rejects Notice and Comment Rulemaking Requirement for Agency Interpretations

In a case we labeled one of the “cases to watch” this term, a relatively unified Supreme Court decided in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association that a federal agency does not need to engage in notice-and-comment rulemaking...more

The Supreme Court Sides with the Department of Labor in "Rulemaking" Challenge

The U.S. Supreme Court handed the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) a victory in a battle over whether the agency's reversal of its stance on the exempt status of mortgage loan officers was subject to public notice and comment....more

Supreme Court Holds Federal Agencies May Reverse Their Positions Through Informal Guidance

On March 9, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Ass’n, No. 13-1041 (Mar. 9, 2015), holding federal administrative agencies may amend or repeal interpretive rules without following...more

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