nonacquiescence (non-ak-wee-es-<<schwa>>nts).Administrative law. An agency’s policy of declining to be bound by lower-court precedent that is contrary to the agency’s interpretation of its organic statute, but only until the Supreme Court has ruled on the issue.
“Too much nonacquiescence, however, would interfere with the courts‘ ability to prevent an agency from violating its statutory mandate. The practice is generally upheld, but is considered questionable when an agency adheres to its legal position in a case that could only be reviewed in a circuit that has already rejected the agency’s stance. When the Social Security Administration made frequent use of the latter kind of nonacquiescence in the administration of its disability benefits program in the 1980’s, it was widely criticized.” Ernest Gellhorn & Ronald M. Levin, Administrative Law and Process in a Nutshell 98 n.2 (4th ed. 1997).
[Blacks Law 8th]