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Domesticating Guidance, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2019

Domesticating Guidance, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

This essay, written for an occasion celebrating the scholarship of Prof. William Funk of Lewis & Clark Law School, builds in good part on his analyses of soft law documents – statements of general policy and interpretive rules – that today one generally finds discussed under the rubric “guidance.” These are agency texts of less formality than hard law regulations adopted under the procedures of 5 U.S.C. §553, that inform the public how an agency intends to administer its responsibilities, as a matter of policy or (what may seem just one instance of that) via the interpretation of its governing statutes. The APA is explicit that in adopting these texts, agencies are not required to use the notice-and-comment process ordinarily required for the adoption of regulations having the force of law; but it also signals that, like agency caselaw precedent, guidance may be relied upon to a private party’s disadvantage if it has been published or come to its actual notice. Guidance documents, revealing agency policy and perhaps showing the way to safe compliance, can structure the behavior of agency staff and be highly influential for the regulated; but they are not in themselves enforceable against actors in the outside world – hence, soft law. Typically, they are the product of agency staff, and do not ...


Seeing Transparency More Clearly, David E. Pozen Jan 2019

Seeing Transparency More Clearly, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, transparency has been proposed as the solution to, and the cause of, a remarkable range of public problems. The proliferation of seemingly contradictory claims about transparency becomes less puzzling, this essay argues, when one appreciates that transparency is not, in itself, a coherent normative ideal. Nor does it have a straightforward instrumental relationship to any primary goals of governance. To gain greater purchase on how transparency policies operate, scholars must therefore move beyond abstract assumptions and drill down into the specific legal, institutional, historical, political, and cultural contexts in which these policies are crafted and implemented. The ...


Administrative States: Beyond Presidential Administration, Jessica Bulman-Pozen Jan 2019

Administrative States: Beyond Presidential Administration, Jessica Bulman-Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Presidential administration is more entrenched and expansive than ever. Most significant policymaking comes from agency action rather than legislation. Courts endorse “the presence of Presidential power” in agency decisionmaking. Scholars give up on external checks and balances and take presidential direction as a starting point. Yet presidential administration is also quite fragile. Even as the Court embraces presidential control, it has been limiting the administrative domain over which the President presides. And when Presidents drive agency action in a polarized age, their policies are not only immediately contested but also readily reversed by their successors.

States complicate each piece of ...


A Softer, Simpler View Of Chevron, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2018

A Softer, Simpler View Of Chevron, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

Justice Kennedy's concurrence in Pereira gives reason to hope that the Court may be finally catching on to the difficulties it created by Chevron's opening language, as distinct from its inherent reasoning. When courts quote language like "precise question" and "permissible" to limit themselves (as Justice Scalia and others unfortunately tended to reinforce by their quotations from the opinion), they stray not only from judicial function but also from the statute (APA) that instructs them how to review, and which strangely the opinion does not mention. But Chevron actually (a) independently found and defined a statutory gap within ...


Transparency's Ideological Drift, David E. Pozen Jan 2018

Transparency's Ideological Drift, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

In the formative periods of American "open government" law, the idea of transparency was linked with progressive politics. Advocates of transparency understood themselves to be promoting values such as bureaucratic rationality, social justice, and trust in public institutions. Transparency was meant to make government stronger and more egalitarian. In the twenty-first century, transparency is doing different work. Although a wide range of actors appeal to transparency in a wide range of contexts, the dominant strain in the policy discourse emphasizes its capacity to check administrative abuse, enhance private choice, and reduce other forms of regulation. Transparency is meant to make ...


Separation Of Powers In Comparative Perspective: How Much Protection For The Rule Of Law?, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2018

Separation Of Powers In Comparative Perspective: How Much Protection For The Rule Of Law?, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

Writing about separation of powers with particular attention to the contrasting American and British views at the time of Trump and Brexit has been challenging and illuminating. The essay takes as its third framework the constrained parliamentarianism Prof. Bruce Ackerman celebrated in his essay, The New Separation of Powers, 113 Harv. L. Rev. 633 (2000), and briefly considers its relative success in Australia, France, and Germany, and failure in Hungary and Poland, in achieving “separation of powers” universally understood ends, the prevention of autocracy and preservation of human freedoms. That courts and judges would not be political actors, that governments ...


Eroding "Checks" On Presidential Authority – Norms, The Civil Service, And The Courts, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2018

Eroding "Checks" On Presidential Authority – Norms, The Civil Service, And The Courts, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

Shortly after the November elections returned control of the House of Representatives to Democrat control, twenty-one scholars of administrative law met at the Chicago-Kent College of Law to hear and discuss seven papers on the general subject of President Trump and administrative law. A number have already been posted to SSRN. This paper is a commentary on Susan Rose-Ackerman’s essay “Executive Rulemaking and Democratic Legitimacy: ‘Reform’ in the US and the UK’s Route to Brexit” which insightfully illuminates important differences between parliamentary and presidential systems of government in relation to executive bodies’ production of the large volume of ...


How Constitutional Norms Break Down, Josh Chafetz, David E. Pozen Jan 2018

How Constitutional Norms Break Down, Josh Chafetz, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

From the moment Donald Trump was elected President, critics have anguished over a breakdown in constitutional norms. History demonstrates, however, that constitutional norms are perpetually in flux. The principal source of instability is not that these unwritten rules can be destroyed by politicians who deny their legitimacy, their validity, or their value. Rather, the principal source of instability is that constitutional norms can be decomposed – dynamically interpreted and applied in ways that are held out as compliant but end up limiting their capacity to constrain the conduct of government officials.

This Article calls attention to that latent instability and, in ...


The Management Side Of Due Process In The Service-Based Welfare State, Charles F. Sabel, William H. Simon Jan 2017

The Management Side Of Due Process In The Service-Based Welfare State, Charles F. Sabel, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

The American welfare state is evolving away from the model initiated during the New Deal and elaborated during the civil rights era. It increasingly aims at capacitation rather than income maintenance, and its interventions more frequently take the form of services as opposed to monetary grants. These changes entail modes of organization and legal accountability different from those associated with New Deal-civil rights era model. This paper, written for a volume honoring Jerry Mashaw, considers Mashaw’s seminal analysis of legal accountability in the welfare state in the light of the key trends of recent decades. The tension or trade-off ...


Our Regionalism, Jessica Bulman-Pozen Jan 2017

Our Regionalism, Jessica Bulman-Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

This article provides an account of Our Regionalism to supplement the many accounts of Our Federalism. After describing the legal forms regions assume in the United States — through interstate cooperation, organization of federal administrative agencies, and hybrid state-federal efforts — it explores how regions have shaped American governance across the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. In the years leading up to the New Deal, commentators invoked regions to resist centralization, arguing that state coordination could forestall expansion of the federal government. But regions were soon deployed to a different end, as the federal government relied on regional administration to develop its ...


Internal Administrative Law, Gillian E. Metzger, Kevin M. Stack Jan 2017

Internal Administrative Law, Gillian E. Metzger, Kevin M. Stack

Faculty Scholarship

For years, administrative law has been identified as the external review of agency action, primarily by courts. Following in the footsteps of pioneering administrative law scholars, a growing body of recent scholarship has begun to attend to the role of internal norms and structures in controlling agency action. This Article offers a conceptual and historical account of these internal forces as internal administrative law. Internal administrative law consists of the internal directives, guidance, and organizational forms through which agencies structure the discretion of their employees and presidents control the workings of the executive branch. It is the critical means for ...


Internal Administrative Law, Gillian E. Metzger, Kevin M. Stack Jan 2017

Internal Administrative Law, Gillian E. Metzger, Kevin M. Stack

Faculty Scholarship

For years, administrative law has been identified as the external review of agency action, primarily by courts. Following in the footsteps of pioneering administrative law scholars, a growing body of recent scholarship has begun to attend to the role of internal norms and structures in controlling agency action. This Article offers a conceptual and historical account of these internal forces as internal administrative law. Internal administrative law consists of the internal directives, guidance, and organizational forms through which agencies structure the discretion of their employees and presidents control the workings of the executive branch. It is the critical means for ...


Overreach And Innovation In Equality Regulation, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2017

Overreach And Innovation In Equality Regulation, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

At a time of heightened concern about agency overreach, this Article highlights a less appreciated development in agency equality regulation. Moving beyond traditional bureaucratic forms of regulation, civil rights agencies in recent years have experimented with new forms of regulation to advance inclusion. This new "inclusive regulation" can be described as more open ended, less coercive, and more reliant on rewards, collaboration, flexibility, and interactive assessment than traditional modes of civil rights regulation. This Article examines the power and limits of this new inclusive regulation and suggests a framework for increasing the efficacy of these new modes of regulation.


1930s Redux: The Administrative State Under Seige, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2017

1930s Redux: The Administrative State Under Seige, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

Eighty years on, we are seeing a resurgence of the antiregulatory and antigovernment forces that lost the battle of the New Deal. President Trump's administration has proclaimed the "deconstruction of the administrative state" to be one of its main objectives. Early Trump executive actions quickly delivered on this pledge, with a wide array of antiregulatory actions and a budget proposing to slash many agencies' funding. Invoking the long-dormant Congressional Review Act (CRA), the Republican-controlled Congress has eagerly repealed numerous regulations promulgated late in the Obama Administration. Other major legislative and regulatory repeals are pending, and bills that would impose ...


Overreach And Innovation In Equality Regulation, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2017

Overreach And Innovation In Equality Regulation, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

At a time of heightened concern about agency overreach, this Article highlights a less appreciated development in agency equality regulation. Moving beyond traditional bureaucratic forms of regulation, civil rights agencies in recent years have experimented with new forms of regulation to advance inclusion. This new “inclusive regulation” can be described as more open ended, less coercive, and more reliant on rewards, collaboration, flexibility, and interactive assessment than traditional modes of civil rights regulation. This Article examines the power and limits of this new inclusive regulation and suggests a framework for increasing the efficacy of these new modes of regulation.


Book Review: The Struggle For Administrative Legitimacy, Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2016

Book Review: The Struggle For Administrative Legitimacy, Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

It is telling that the winners of [Daniel] Ernst’s history are not the hardened legal realists whom we generally think of as building, and justifying, the New Deal state. Rather, Ernst turns the spotlight on reform-minded corporate lawyers, such as Charles Evans Hughes and John Lord O’Brian, who stepped back from the edge of realism. While accepting the necessity of the administrative state for managing a modern economy, they fought to imbue that state with a legalistic conception of “fair play” and a distinctively lawyerly form of expertise. These political and intellectual moderates would have agreed with Sunstein ...


Reflections On Seminole Rock: The Past, Present, And Future Of Deference To Agency Regulatory Interpretations, Gillian E. Metzger, Aaron Nielson, Sanne H. Knudsen, Amy J. Wildermuth, Aditya Bamzai, Richard J. Pierce, Cynthia Barmore, William Yeatman, Christopher J. Walker, Kevin M. Stack, Andy Grewal, Steve R. Johnson, F. Andrew Hessick, Jonathan H. Adler, Catherine M. Sharkey, David Feder, Cass R. Sunstein, Adrian Vermeule, Ronald M. Levin, Kevin O. Leske, James Cleith Phillips, Daniel Ortner, William Funk, Kristen E. Hickman, Jeffrey A. Pojanowski, Adam White, Conor Clarke Jan 2016

Reflections On Seminole Rock: The Past, Present, And Future Of Deference To Agency Regulatory Interpretations, Gillian E. Metzger, Aaron Nielson, Sanne H. Knudsen, Amy J. Wildermuth, Aditya Bamzai, Richard J. Pierce, Cynthia Barmore, William Yeatman, Christopher J. Walker, Kevin M. Stack, Andy Grewal, Steve R. Johnson, F. Andrew Hessick, Jonathan H. Adler, Catherine M. Sharkey, David Feder, Cass R. Sunstein, Adrian Vermeule, Ronald M. Levin, Kevin O. Leske, James Cleith Phillips, Daniel Ortner, William Funk, Kristen E. Hickman, Jeffrey A. Pojanowski, Adam White, Conor Clarke

Faculty Scholarship

Seminole Rock (or Auer) deference has captured the attention of scholars, policymakers, and the judiciary. That is why Notice & Comment, the blog of the Yale Journal on Regulation and the American Bar Association’s Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice, hosted an online symposium from September 12 to September 23, 2016 on the subject. This symposium contains over 20 contributions addressing different aspects of Seminole Rock deference.

Topics include:

  • History of Seminole Rock
  • Empirical Examinations of Seminole Rock
  • Understanding Seminole Rock Within Agencies
  • Understanding Seminole Rock as Applied to Tax, Environmental Law, and Criminal Sentencing
  • Why Seminole Rock Matters
  • Should ...


Legal Pathways To Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Under Section 115 Of The Clean Air Act, Michael Burger, Ann E. Carlson, Michael Gerrard, Jayni Hein, Jason A. Schwartz, Keith J. Benes Jan 2016

Legal Pathways To Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Under Section 115 Of The Clean Air Act, Michael Burger, Ann E. Carlson, Michael Gerrard, Jayni Hein, Jason A. Schwartz, Keith J. Benes

Faculty Scholarship

Under President Barack Obama the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has promulgated a series of greenhouse gas emissions regulations, initiating the necessary national response to climate change. However, the United States will need to find other ways to reduce GHG emissions if it is to live up to its international emissions reduction pledges, and to ultimately lead the way to a zero-carbon energy future. This paper argues that the success of the recent climate negotiations in Paris provides a strong basis for invoking a powerful tool available to help achieve the country’s climate change goals: Section 115 of the ...


Politics And Agencies In The Administrative State: The U.S. Case, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2016

Politics And Agencies In The Administrative State: The U.S. Case, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

The pending American presidential election, culminating a period of extreme political partisanship in our national government generally, gives point to an essay on politics and agencies in the American regulatory state. In our two-party system, it has often been the case in recent times, including the last six years, that the President comes from one of our two major political parties and one or both houses of Congress are controlled by the other. All American agencies (including, in the American case, the so-called independent regulatory bodies) are associated with the President in the executive branch, yet dependent on the Senate ...


A War For Liberty: On The Law Of Conscientious Objection, Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2015

A War For Liberty: On The Law Of Conscientious Objection, Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

One common understanding of the Second World War is that it was a contest between liberty and tyranny. For many at the time – and for still more today – ‘liberty’ meant the rule of law: government constrained by principle, procedure, and most of all, individual rights. For those states that claimed to represent this rule-of-law tradition, total war presented enormous challenges, even outright contradictions. How would these states manage to square the governmental imperatives of military emergency with the legal protections and procedures essential to preserving the ancient ‘liberty of the subject’? This question could be and was asked with regard ...


Through The Looking Glass To A Shared Reflection: The Evolving Relationship Between Administrative Law And Financial Regulation, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2015

Through The Looking Glass To A Shared Reflection: The Evolving Relationship Between Administrative Law And Financial Regulation, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

Administrative law and financial regulation might be thought closely connected, sharing a focus on federal regulation and intertwined at key historical junctures such as the birth of the New Deal administrative state. Yet, oddly, in many ways these two fields stand today poles apart, divided not simply by their separation in law school curricula and faculty, but even more by opposite precepts and framing principles. Modern U.S. administrative law takes notice-and-comment rulemaking as the paradigmatic example of administrative action, with the goal of such regulation often being to compensate for market deficiencies. Accountability, particularly political accountability through presidential and ...


Through The Looking Glass To A Shared Reflection: The Evolving Relationship Between Administrative Law And Financial Regulation, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2015

Through The Looking Glass To A Shared Reflection: The Evolving Relationship Between Administrative Law And Financial Regulation, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

Administrative law and financial regulation have an uneasy relationship today. It was not always so. Indeed, the two were closely intertwined at the nation's birth. The Treasury Department was a major hub of early federal administration, with Alexander Hamilton crafting the first iterations of federal administrative law in his oversight of revenue generation and customs collection. One hundred and fifty years later, administrative law and financial regulation were conjoined in the New Deal's creation of the modern administrative state. This time it was James Landis, Chair of the newly formed Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and author of ...


Appointments, Innovation, And The Judicial-Political Divide, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2015

Appointments, Innovation, And The Judicial-Political Divide, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

The federal appointments process is having its proverbial day in the sun. The appointment and removal of federal officers figured centrally in the Supreme Court's two major recent separation-of-powers decisions, Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning. The appointments process has featured even more prominently in the political sphere, figuring in a number of congressional-presidential confrontations. Such simultaneous top billing in the judicial and political spheres is hardly coincidental. After all, it was President Obama's use of the Recess Appointments Clause in response to pro forma sessions that ...


The Struggle For Administrative Legitimacy, Jeremy K. Kessler Jan 2015

The Struggle For Administrative Legitimacy, Jeremy K. Kessler

Faculty Scholarship

Nearly forty years ago, Professor James 0. Freedman described the American administrative state as haunted by a "recurrent sense of crisis." "Each generation has tended to define the crisis in its own terms," and "each generation has fashioned solutions responsive to the problems it has perceived." Yet "a strong and persisting challenge to the basic legitimacy of the administrative process" always returns, in a new guise, to trouble the next generation. On this account, the American people remain perennially unconvinced that administrative decisionmaking is "appropriate, proper, and just," entitled to respect and obedience "by virtue of who made the decision ...


The Organizational Premises Of Administrative Law, William H. Simon Jan 2015

The Organizational Premises Of Administrative Law, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

The core doctrines of administrative law have not taken account of developments in the theory and practice of organization. The contours of these doctrines were set in the mid-twentieth century when the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) was passed. Although these doctrines have evolved since then, administration itself has changed more. Many of the widely perceived deficiencies of the doctrines, including some associated with overregulation and others with underregulation, seem influenced by an anachronistic understanding of organization.

Much administrative law continues to understand public administration as bureaucracy. In particular, doctrine is strongly influenced by three premises. First, the backward-looking conception of ...


Executive Federalism Comes To America, Jessica Bulman-Pozen Jan 2015

Executive Federalism Comes To America, Jessica Bulman-Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

From healthcare to marijuana to climate change, negotiations among federal and state executive branch actors increasingly set national policy in the United States. This executive federalism fits uneasily into existing understandings: it departs from expectations that Congress formulates national policy and mediates state-federal relationships; it poses a challenge to popular suggestions that the president is engaged in unilateral action; and it comes as a surprise to those who have studied executive federalism but insist it is the peculiar province of parliamentary federations. In an age of partisan polarization, congressional gridlock, and state initiative, executive federalism has come to America. After ...


Introduction: The Place Of Agencies In Polarized Government, Cynthia R. Farina, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2015

Introduction: The Place Of Agencies In Polarized Government, Cynthia R. Farina, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

This is one of two complementary essays for a symposium honoring the work of Peter L. Strauss. Also included is the joint introduction. (The second essay is Gillian Metzger, Agencies, Polarization, and the States.) These essays engage one of Strauss’s most germinal writings, “The Place of Agencies in Government: Separation of Powers and the Fourth Branch” to consider whether contemporary polarized politics spells the end of the intricate system of multi-branch control and accountability which, Strauss argued, legitimates administrative agencies. Political polarization has become a major focus in contemporary discussions on congressional activity and governance. The tone of these ...


Agencies, Polarization, And The States, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2015

Agencies, Polarization, And The States, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

Political polarization is all the rage. Yet administrative agencies are strikingly absent from leading accounts of contemporary polarization. To the extent they appear, it is largely as acted-upon entities that bear the fallout from the congressional-presidential confrontations that polarization fuels, or as the tools of presidential unilateralism. This failure to incorporate administrative agencies into polarization accounts is a major omission. Agencies possess broad grants of preexisting authority that they can use to reshape governing policy and law, often at presidential instigation, thereby putting pressure on Congress to respond. In the process, they can construct new alliances and arrangements that have ...


Presidential Administration And The Traditions Of Administrative Law, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2015

Presidential Administration And The Traditions Of Administrative Law, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

American administrative law has long been characterized by two distinct traditions: the positivist and the process traditions. The positivist tradition emphasizes that administrative bodies are created by law and must act in accordance with the requirements of the law. The process tradition emphasizes that agencies must act in accordance with norms of reasoned decisionmaking, which emphasize that all relevant interests must be given an opportunity to express their views and agencies must explain their decisions in a public and articulate fashion. In the twentieth century, American administrative law achieved a grand synthesis of these two traditions, with the result that ...


Introduction: The Place Of Agencies In Polarized Government, Cynthia R. Farina, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2015

Introduction: The Place Of Agencies In Polarized Government, Cynthia R. Farina, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

Peter Strauss's The Place of Agencies in Government: Separation of Powers. and the Fourth Branch reshaped contemporary thinking about the constitutionality of federal administrative government. When the article appeared in 1984, the Reagan Revolution was in full swing. Reagan's overtly antiregulatory policy stance and his Administration's advocacy of a highly formalist and originalist style of constitutional interpretation fundamentally challenged the post-New Deal administrative state. Aggressive interpretation of Article II led to controversial strategies of White House control: centralized rulemaking review, appointment of agency heads loyal to the President's (anti)regulatory agenda, and attacks on institutions of ...