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Full-Text Articles in Law

Interpreting Regulations, Kevin M. Stack Dec 2012

Interpreting Regulations, Kevin M. Stack

Michigan Law Review

The age of statutes has given way to an era of regulations, but our jurisprudence has fallen behind. Despite the centrality of regulations to law, courts have no intelligible approach to regulatory interpretation. The neglect of regulatory interpretation is not only a shortcoming in interpretive theory but also a practical problem for administrative law. Canonical doctrines of administrative law - Chevron, Seminole Rock/Auer, and Accardi - involve interpreting regulations, and yet courts lack a consistent approach. This Article develops a method for interpreting regulations and, more generally, situates regulatory interpretation within debates over legal interpretation. It argues that a purposive approach ...


The Volcker Rule's Hedging Exemption, Spencer A. Winters Sep 2012

The Volcker Rule's Hedging Exemption, Spencer A. Winters

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

The comment period for the proposed regulations to be promulgated under the Volcker Rule expired on February 13, 2012. The rulemakers received over 16,000 comments during that period, in what one commentator described as a "fecal storm." Though that description is hopefully an exaggeration, it is safe to say that the Rule's implementation has been contentious. The Volcker Rule, named for former chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker, is a component of the Dodd-Frank Act, which Congress passed in response to the recent financial crisis. The Rule's statutory provision charges the nation's financial regulators with ...


Roles For State Energy Regulators In Climate Change Mitigation , Brandon Hofmeister Sep 2012

Roles For State Energy Regulators In Climate Change Mitigation , Brandon Hofmeister

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

The construction of new power plants in the United States carries the risk of significantly contributing to global climate change. After concluding that the current federal regulatory response to climate change risks from power plants is inadequate, this Article examines three potential roles for state energy regulators to play as a bridge climate mitigation strategy until a cohesive federal policy is enacted. State energy regulators have received relatively little attention as potential climate change regulators, but they are well positioned to analyze and mitigate climate change risks from new power plants. The Article considers the advantages and drawbacks of state ...


Rulemaking Vs. Democracy: Judging And Nudging Public Participation That Counts , Cynthia R. Farina, Mary Newhart, Josiah Heidt, Cornell Erulemaking Initiative Sep 2012

Rulemaking Vs. Democracy: Judging And Nudging Public Participation That Counts , Cynthia R. Farina, Mary Newhart, Josiah Heidt, Cornell Erulemaking Initiative

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

This Article considers how open government “magical thinking” around technology has infused efforts to increase public participation in rulemaking. We propose a framework for assessing the value of technology-enabled rulemaking participation and offer specific principles of participation-system design, which are based on conceptual work and practical experience in the Regulation Room project at Cornell University. An underlying assumption of open government enthusiasts is that more public participation will lead to better government policymaking: If we use technology to give people easier opportunities to participate in public policymaking, they will use these opportunities to participate effectively. However, experience thus far with ...


Cascading Constitutional Deprivation: The Right To Appointed Counsel For Mandatorily Detained Immigrants Pending Removal Proceedings, Mark Noferi Sep 2012

Cascading Constitutional Deprivation: The Right To Appointed Counsel For Mandatorily Detained Immigrants Pending Removal Proceedings, Mark Noferi

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Today, an immigrant green card holder mandatorily detained pending his removal proceedings, without bail and without counsel, due to a minor crime committed perhaps long ago, faces a dire fate. If he contests his case, he may remain incarcerated in substandard conditions for months or years. While incarcerated, he will likely be unable to acquire a lawyer, access family who might assist him, obtain key evidence, or contact witnesses. In these circumstances, he will nearly inevitably lose his deportation case and be banished abroad from work, family, and friends. The immigrant's one chance to escape these cascading events is ...


Do Investment Treaties Prescribe A Deferential Standard Of Review, Anna T. Katselas Sep 2012

Do Investment Treaties Prescribe A Deferential Standard Of Review, Anna T. Katselas

Michigan Journal of International Law

The dramatic rise in foreign investment in recent decades has brought with it a corresponding increase in the number of bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and, in turn, the number of international investment disputes arising under those treaties. Investment treaty arbitration is the predominant method used to settle those disputes and has certain advantages for both foreign investors and host states compared to available alternatives, but it can tread on delicate issues typically within the domaine rieservd of states. The concern about due regard for sovereign interests in this context is far from purely academic. In the past twenty years, the ...


A New Prescription To Balance Secrecy And Disclosure In Drug-Approval Processes, Gerrit M. Beckhaus Sep 2012

A New Prescription To Balance Secrecy And Disclosure In Drug-Approval Processes, Gerrit M. Beckhaus

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

To obtain approval to market a drug, a manufacturer must disclose significant amounts of research data to the government agency that oversees the approval process. The data often include information that could help advance scientific progress, and are therefore of great value. But current laws in both the United States and Europe give secrecy great weight. This Article proposes an obligatory sealed-bid auction of the sensitive information based on the experience with similar auctions in mergers and acquisitions, to balance manufacturers' interest in secrecy and the public interest in disclosure.


The Federal Reserve As Last Resort, Colleen Baker Sep 2012

The Federal Reserve As Last Resort, Colleen Baker

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States, is one of the most important and powerful institutions in the world. Surprisingly, legal scholarship hardly pays any attention to the Federal Reserve or to the law structuring and governing its legal authority. This is especially curious given the amount of legal scholarship focused on administrative agencies that do not have anywhere near as critical a domestic and international role as that of the Federal Reserve. At the core of what the Federal Reserve does and should do is to conduct monetary policy so as to safeguard pricing, including that ...


Regulating By Repute, David Zaring Apr 2012

Regulating By Repute, David Zaring

Michigan Law Review

Is regulation a hopeless cause? Many thoughtful observers spend a lot of time enumerating all of the reasons why it is doomed to fail. The entire field of public choice, with impeccable logic, posits the likely corruption of every bureaucrat. And if corruption cannot explain the failure of regulation, the atrophy that comes from lack of competition-there is just one government, after all, and it does not have a profit motive-may be just as rich a vein to mine. It could also be that the legal system itself, with its myriad complexities, checks, and procedural requirements, may ossify to the ...


Inside Agency Preemption, Catherine M. Sharkey Feb 2012

Inside Agency Preemption, Catherine M. Sharkey

Michigan Law Review

A subtle shift has taken place in the mechanics of preemption, the doctrine that determines when federal law displaces state law. In the past, Congress was the leading actor, and courts and commentators focused almost exclusively on the precise wording of its statutory directives as a clue to its intent to displace state law. Federal agencies were, if not ignored, certainly no more than supporting players. But the twenty-first century has witnessed a role reversal. Federal agencies now play the dominant role in statutory interpretation. The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized the ascendancy of federal agencies in preemption disputes-an ...


The Justiciability Of Fair Balance Under The Federal Advisory Committee Act: Toward A Deliberative Process Approach, Daniel E. Walters Feb 2012

The Justiciability Of Fair Balance Under The Federal Advisory Committee Act: Toward A Deliberative Process Approach, Daniel E. Walters

Michigan Law Review

The Federal Advisory Committee Act's requirement that advisory committees be "fairly balanced in terms of the points of view represented and the functions to be performed" is generally considered either nonjusticiable under the Administrative Procedure Act or justiciable but subject to highly deferential review. These approaches stem from courts' purported inability to discern from the text of the statute any meaningful legal standards for policing representational balance. Thus, the Federal Advisory Committee Act's most important substantive limitation on institutional pathologies such as committee "capture" or domination is generally unused despite the ubiquity of federal advisory committees in the ...


The $1.75 Trillion Lie, Lisa Heinzerling, Frank Ackerman Jan 2012

The $1.75 Trillion Lie, Lisa Heinzerling, Frank Ackerman

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

A 2010 study commissioned by the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration claims that federal regulations impose annual economic costs of $1.75 trillion. This estimate has been widely circulated, in everything from op-ed pages to Congressional testimony. But the estimate is not credible. For costs of economic regulations, the estimate reflects a calculation that rests on a misunderstanding of the definition of the relevant data, flunks an elementary question on the normal distribution, pads the analysis with several years of near-identical data, and fails to recognize the difference between correlation and causation. For costs of ...


Enhancing Public Access To Online Rulemaking Information, Cary Coglianese Jan 2012

Enhancing Public Access To Online Rulemaking Information, Cary Coglianese

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

One of the most significant powers exercised by federal agencies is their power to make rules. Given the importance of agency rulemaking, the process by which agencies develop rules has long been subject to procedural requirements aiming to advance democratic values of openness and public participation. With the advent of the digital age, government agencies have engaged in increasing efforts to make rulemaking information available online as well as to elicit public participation via electronic means of communication. How successful are these efforts? How might they be improved? In this article, I investigate agencies’ efforts to make rulemaking information available ...


The Case For Abolishing Centralized White House Regulatory Review , Rena Steinzor Jan 2012

The Case For Abolishing Centralized White House Regulatory Review , Rena Steinzor

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

A series of catastrophic regulatory failures have focused attention on the weakened condition of regulatory agencies assigned to protect public health, worker and consumer safety, and the environment. The destructive convergence of funding shortfalls, political attacks, and outmoded legal authority have set the stage for ineffective enforcement, unsupervised industry self-regulation, and a slew of devastating and preventable catastrophes. From the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico to the worst mining disaster in forty years at the Big Branch mine in West Virginia, the signs of regulatory dysfunction abound. Many stakeholders expected that President Barack Obama would recognize and ...


What The Return Of The Administrative Conference Of The United States Means For Administrative Law, Paul R. Verkuil Jan 2012

What The Return Of The Administrative Conference Of The United States Means For Administrative Law, Paul R. Verkuil

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

Administrative law, writ large, is about the way agencies behave, and how other institutions and the public react to that behavior. By promulgating rules, adjudicating cases and claims, enforcing statutes, providing guidance, collaborating with interest groups, exercising discretion, and so forth, agencies manage and implement the business of government.1 They do this under the auspices of the Executive Branch, but the other branches assert authority over the agencies as well. Congress does so by legislating, budgeting, and overseeing, while the courts do so by interpreting statutes and requiring rational behavior from agencies. These important and essential activities fill many ...


A Functional Approach To Risks And Uncertainties Under Nepa , Todd S. Aagaard Jan 2012

A Functional Approach To Risks And Uncertainties Under Nepa , Todd S. Aagaard

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) mandates that federal agencies evaluate the environmental impacts of their proposed actions. This requires agencies to make ex ante predictions about environmental consequences that often involve a significant degree of factual risk or uncertainty. Considerable controversy exists regarding how agencies should address such risks and uncertainties. Current NEPA law adopts a largely ad hoc approach that lacks coherence and analytical rigor. Some environmentalists and legal scholars have called for a greater emphasis on worst-case analysis in environmental planning, especially after the recent Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the meltdowns ...


Burying, Robert Brendan Taylor Jan 2012

Burying, Robert Brendan Taylor

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

When applying for a patent, applicants must provide the examiner with all known material prior art. Those who fail to do so can be charged with inequitable conduct. But applicants can still effectively hide material prior art references by submitting them along with large quantities of immaterial prior art to the examiner. This deceptive practice, known as "burying," is generally not considered inequitable conduct. This Essay summarizes the current legal landscape concerning burying, discusses the costs associated with the practice, and suggests ways to deter and punish those who do it.


Privacy Policies, Terms Of Service, And Ftc Enforcement: Broadening Unfairness Regulation For A New Era, G. S. Hans Jan 2012

Privacy Policies, Terms Of Service, And Ftc Enforcement: Broadening Unfairness Regulation For A New Era, G. S. Hans

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

This Note examines website privacy policies in the context of FTC regulation. The relevant portion of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a), uses the following language to define the scope of the agency's regulatory authority: "Unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce, are hereby declared unlawful." Specifically, this Note analyzes the FTC's power to regulate unfair practices (referred to as the FTC's "unfairness power") granted by Section 5, and also discusses the deception prong of Section 5 ...


Network Neutrality: Verizon V. Fcc, Anna S. Han Jan 2012

Network Neutrality: Verizon V. Fcc, Anna S. Han

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) is once again locking horns with the broadband behemoth, Verizon, over the issue of network neutrality. Although this conflict between the government and corporate giants is far from new, recent events have forced courts to give it close scrutiny. Given the explosive pace at which technology has expanded and permeated citizens’ daily lives, the judgments rendered have greater significance now than ever before.


Enforcement Without Foundation? Insider Trading And China's Administrative Law Crisis, Nicholas C. Howson Jan 2012

Enforcement Without Foundation? Insider Trading And China's Administrative Law Crisis, Nicholas C. Howson

Articles

China's securities regulator enforces insider trading prohibitions pursuant to non-legal and non-regulatory internal "guidance." Reported agency decisions indicate that enforcement against insider trading is often possible only pursuant to this guidance, as the behavior identified is far outside of the scope of insider trading liability provided for in statute or regulation. I argue that the agency guidance is itself unlawful and unenforceable, because: (i) the guidance is not the regulatory norm required by the statutory delegation of power; and (ii) the guidance is ultra vires because (a) it addresses something substantively different from what is authorized under the statutory ...


Should Mass Comments Count?, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2012

Should Mass Comments Count?, Nina A. Mendelson

Articles

I am grateful to the Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law for the opportunity to reply to “Rulemaking vs. Democracy: Judging and Nudging Public Participation That Counts,” a terrific article by Professor Cynthia Farina, Mary Newhart, and Josiah Heidt of the Cornell eRulemaking Institute (“CeRI”). Farina, Newhart, and Heidt’s continuing commitment to structuring public engagement in e-rulemaking, both through scholarship and CeRI’s Regulation Room project, is one of the most hopeful signs for the future of that process. In their Article, the authors are concerned with agency treatment of large volumes of public comments in rulemaking, an increasingly ...


Technology Convergence And Federalism: The Case Of Voip Regulation, Daniel A. Lyons Jan 2012

Technology Convergence And Federalism: The Case Of Voip Regulation, Daniel A. Lyons

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

The Vermont Supreme Court may soon consider whether federal law permits the Public Service Board to regulate certain voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) services. Across the Hudson, Governor Andrew Cuomo recently sought to bar the New York Public Service Commission from adopting similar regulations. And these states are not alone: from Maine to Florida, several states are considering whether their jurisdiction over traditional telephone service encompasses this new technology, through which nearly one-third of American landline households receive telephone service. If so, nationwide VoIP providers could face up to fifty new legal regimes with which they must comply before offering service. If not ...


Tax Exceptionalism: Wanted Dead Or Alive, Gene Magidenko Jan 2012

Tax Exceptionalism: Wanted Dead Or Alive, Gene Magidenko

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

Tax law has just not been the same since January 2011. Did Congress pass earthshaking legislation affecting the Internal Revenue Code? Did the IRS dramatically change regulations? If only it were that exciting. Instead, eight jurists sitting at One First Street in our nation’s capital transformed tax law in a less bloody, but no less profound, way. The thought must have gone through many a tax mind – is tax exceptionalism dead?