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 “When a court reviews an agency’s construction of the statute which it administers, it is confronted with two questions.” 467 U.S., at 842, 104 S. Ct. 2778, 81 L. Ed. 2d 694. First, applying the ordinary tools of statutory construction, the court must determine “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.” Id., at 842-843, 104 S. Ct. 2778, 81 L. Ed. 2d 694. But “if the statute is silent or ambiguous with respect to the specific issue, the question for the court is whether the agency’s answer is based on a permissible construction of the statute.” Id., at 843, 104 S. Ct. 2778, 81 L. Ed. 2d 694.


Chevron is rooted in a background presumption of congressional intent: namely, “that Congress, when it left ambiguity in a statute” administered by an agency, “understood that the ambiguity would be resolved, first and foremost, by the agency, and desired the agency (rather than the courts) to possess whatever degree ...

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