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High court declines to overrule cases on agencies' power

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is declining to overrule two past cases that had been criticized by conservatives as giving unelected officials vast lawmaking power.

The justices ruled Wednesday in a case that was being watched as a sign of how willing the court is to trim agencies’ power and as a possible step to doing more in a future case.

The case itself has to do with how courts should respond when an agency writes a regulation that is ambiguous. The cases the court upheld are from 1945 and 1997 and said judges should defer to an agency’s interpretation of an ambiguous regulation if the interpretation is reasonable.

The Associated Press