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Abstract

Increasingly, federal statutory schemes call upon state agencies to execute federal laws. One such example is the Affordable Care Act--a statute that allows states the option of implementing the requirements of the law and offering health coverage through their own agencies instead of through the Department of Health and Human Services. As more laws like this permit state agencies to carry out federal law, state agencies will be forced to interpret federal law as ambiguities arise. Mhile federal courts have constructed a fairly defined regime for review of agency interpretations under the Chevron and Skidmore doctrines, review of state agencies' interpretation of federal law remains largely unaddressed and unsettled. This Article attempts to fill out this conversation about what level of review state agency interpretations should be afforded when interpreting federal law. To do this, the Article maps out the levels of review federal courts have provided to state agencies in these situations of intrastatutory interpretation. It reviews the justifications that support use of the Chevron and Skidmore standards for federal agency decisions, and catalogues courts' consideration of when those same rationales apply to state agencies' interpretations of federal law. Finally, from synthesizing the available cases, this Article constructs and suggests three rudimentarycategoriesfor determining what level of review should attach to a state agency's interpretationof federal law.

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