The Mead Doctrine established in a 2001 Supreme Court case, United States v. Mead Corp., 533 U.S. 218, narrows the scope of when Chevron deference (see the entry for Chevron Doctrine) is applied to agency actions. Under this doctrine, a reviewing court is required to defer to agency interpretation of their governing statutes only when
- Congress has delegated authority to the agency generally to make rules carrying the force of law, and
- The agency interpretation claiming deference was promulgated in exercise of that authority.
When those two conditions are not satisfied, a court will only apply deference to a federal agency's interpretation if the court finds the agency's interpretation persuasive.