In this article, the author discusses how Chevron intersects with one important competing norm - stare decisis. Stare decisis counsels the Court to adhere to its own decisions, particularly statutory ones, absent substantial justification for departure. To what extent should stare decisis apply when an agency's interpretation of a statute, otherwise deserving of deference under Chevron, conflicts with a prior interpretation of the statute by the Supreme Court?

This article suggests the following answer: If the Court's prior opinion upheld the agency's interpretation as one reasonable reading of the statute, but not the only one possible, and the agency thereafter adopts a different interpretation, the new reading is entitled to deference under Chevron, free from the constraints of stare decisis. Deference to the agency poses no true conflict with stare decisis because the prior opinion has not purported to definitively construe the statute.