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When a court reviews an agency's construction of the statute which it administers, it is confronted with two questions. First, always, is the question whether Congress has directly spoken to the precise question at issue. If the intent of Congress is clear, that is the end of the matter; for the court, as well as the agency, must give effect to the unambiguously expressed intent of Congress. The judiciary is the final authority on issues of statutory construction, and must reject administrative constructions which are contrary to clear congressional intent. See, e.g., FEC v. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, 454 U. S. 27, 454 U. S. 32 (1981); SEC v. Sloan, 436 U. S. 103, 436 U. S. 117-118 (1978); FMC v. Seatrain Lines, Inc., 411 U. S. 726, 411 U. S. 745-746 (1973); Volkswagenwerk v. FMC, 390 U. S. 261, 390 U. S. 272 (1968); NLRB v. Brown, 380 U. S. 278, 380 U. S. 291 (1965); FTC v. Colgate-Palmolive Co., 380 U. S. 374, 380 U. S. 385 (1965); Social Security Board v. Nierotko, 327 U. S. 358, 327 U. S. 369 (1946); Burnet v. Chicago Portrait Co., 285 U. S. 1, 285 U. S. 16 (1932); ...

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