Bloomberg Law
June 21, 2021, 1:41 PM

Justices Won’t Resolve Criminal Sentencing Circuit Split

Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson
Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to resolve a circuit split over criminal sentencing that affects thousands of defendants.

Although the case rises in the context of a criminal conviction, the issue the justices declined to consider on Monday centers on Chevron deference. Under that doctrine, courts should generally defer to administrative agency interpretation of an ambiguous law.

Critics argue that courts should construe ambiguous laws. The Supreme Court has attempted to limit Chevron deference rather than nix it.

In 2019, the justices clarified that courts shouldn’t reflexively defer to agencies, but should first ensure a law is “genuinely ambiguous.”

The ...