When even the government does not think it deserves deference, it’s safe to say the government does not deserve deference. And when the government angles for a split decision only by tying itself in legal knots – relying on stare decisis at the same time it encourages the Supreme Court to overrule precedent – it’s safe to say something odd is going on. After all, stare decisis is Latin for “to stand by things decided,” not “to stand by some of the things decided while jettisoning others.” Latin’s a dead language, but it hasn’t decomposed that badly. To me, the takeaway is that the government knows that Auer deference stands on shaky legal ground and is doing what it can to preserve what it can. That’s perfectly understandable, and advocating a partial overruling may have some policy appeal to some people. But it does not make the legal ground under Auer any firmer.