While I do think it is appropriate – indeed, prudent – for this Court to carefully consider a governmental agency’s application and understanding of an ambiguous statute, that is as far as it goes. Taking an agency’s interpretation into account – even giving it great weight – is one thing; but deferring to the agency’s interpretation is quite another.Hon. Jess Dickinson, 2008, in Hill Brothers Construction Co. v. Miss. Dep't of Transportation, 42 So. 3d 497:
And as for this Court deferring to the Commissioner’s interpretation of the statute, I can think of no more dangerous perversion of our system of government than to say that the executive branch of government should interpret its own powers. Next thing you know, we’ll be deferring to our law enforcement agencies’ interpretation of the Fourth Amendment.
This Court has held that the "interpretation given [a] statute by the agency chosen to administer it should be accorded deference." Williams v. Puckett, 624 So. 2d 496, 499 (Miss. 1993) (citing Gill v. Mississippi Dep't of Wildlife Conservation, 574 So. 2d 586, 593 (Miss. 1990)).... This is not the first time we have found Presiding Justice Dickinson to be of interest on standards of review.