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Deregulation And Private Enforcement, Brian T. Fitzpatrick Jan 2020

Deregulation And Private Enforcement, Brian T. Fitzpatrick

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Many conservatives oppose much of the administrative state. But many also oppose much of our private enforcement regime. This raises the questions of whether conservatives believe the marketplace should be policed at all, and if so, who exactly should do that policing? In this Essay, based on my new book, The Conservative Case for Class Actions, I take a deep dive into conservative principles to try to answer these questions. I conclude that almost all conservatives believe the marketplace needs at least some legal constraints, and I argue that ex post, private enforcement is superior to the alternatives. Not only ...


Can And Should Universal Injunctions Be Saved?, Szymon S. Barnas Oct 2019

Can And Should Universal Injunctions Be Saved?, Szymon S. Barnas

Vanderbilt Law Review

The practice of a federal district court judge halting the government's enforcement of an executive action against not only the parties before the court but against anyone, anywhere, may be coming to an end. Multiple Supreme Court Justices have expressed their skepticism in the propriety of universal injunctions. The growing scholarly consensus is that there should be a brightline rule against them. If the universal injunction's demise is impending and the class action's demise continues unabated, obtaining systemwide relief may be difficult when such relief may be most needed.

This Note considers whether universal injunctions can and ...


Private Enforcement In Administrative Courts, Michael Sant'ambrogio Mar 2019

Private Enforcement In Administrative Courts, Michael Sant'ambrogio

Vanderbilt Law Review

Scholars debating the relative merits of public and private enforcement have long trained their attention on the federal courts. For some, laws giving private litigants rights to vindicate important policies generate unaccountable private attorneys general" who interfere with public enforcement goals. For others, private lawsuits save cash-strapped government lawyers money, time, and resources by encouraging private parties to police misconduct on their own. Yet largely overlooked in the debate is enforcement inside agency adjudication, which often is depicted as just another form of public enforcement, only in a friendlier forum.

This Article challenges the prevailing conception of administrative enforcement. Based ...


Administrative Law's Political Dynamics, Kent Barnett, Christina L. Boyd, Christopher J. Walker Oct 2018

Administrative Law's Political Dynamics, Kent Barnett, Christina L. Boyd, Christopher J. Walker

Vanderbilt Law Review

Over thirty years ago, the Supreme Court in Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. commanded courts to uphold federal agency interpretations of ambiguous statutes as long as those interpretations are reasonable. This Chevron deference doctrine was based in part on the Court's desire to temper administrative law's political dynamics by vesting federal agencies, not courts, with primary authority to make policy judgments about ambiguous laws Congresscharged the agencies to administer. Despite this express objective, scholars such as Frank Cross, Emerson Tiller, and Cass Sunstein have empirically documented how politics influence circuit court review ...


Interpreting An Unamendable Text, Thomas W. Merrill Mar 2018

Interpreting An Unamendable Text, Thomas W. Merrill

Vanderbilt Law Review

Many of the most important legal texts in the United States are highly unamendable. This applies not only to the Constitution, which has not been amended in over forty years, but also to many framework statutes, like the Administrative Procedure Act and the Sherman Antitrust Act. The problem is becoming increasingly severe, as political polarization makes amendment of these texts even more unlikely. This Article considers how interpreters should respond to highly unamendable texts. Unamendable texts have a number of pathologies, such as excluding the people and their representatives from any direct participation in legal change. They also pose an ...


Presidential Exit, J.B. Ruhl, James Salzman Jan 2018

Presidential Exit, J.B. Ruhl, James Salzman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

"The biggest problem that we're facing right now has to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all, and that's what I intend to reverse when I'm president of the United States of America."

"Why is @BarackObama constantly issuing executive orders that are major power grabs of authority?"

"President Trump signed the 30th executive order of his presidency on Friday, capping off a whirlwind period that produced more orders in his first 100 days than for any president since Harry Truman. The rash ...


Regulation Of Emerging Risks, Matthew T. Wansley Mar 2016

Regulation Of Emerging Risks, Matthew T. Wansley

Vanderbilt Law Review

Why has the EPA not regulated fracking? Why has the FDA not regulated e-cigarettes? Why has NHTSA not regulated autonomous vehicles? This Article argues that administrative agencies predictably fail to regulate emerging risks when the political environment for regulation is favorable. The cause is a combination of administrative law and interest group politics. Agencies must satisfy high initial informational thresholds to regulate, so they postpone rulemaking in the face of uncertainty about the effects of new technologies. But while regulators passively acquire more information, fledgling industries consolidate and become politically entrenched. By the time agencies can justify regulation, the newly ...


An Executive-Power Non-Delegation Doctrine For The Private Administration Of Federal Law, Dina Mishra Nov 2015

An Executive-Power Non-Delegation Doctrine For The Private Administration Of Federal Law, Dina Mishra

Vanderbilt Law Review

Private entities often administer federal law. The early-twentieth-century Supreme Court derived constitutional limits to delegations of administrative power to private entities, grounding them in Article I of the Constitution where legislative power is delegated and in the Due Process Clause where the delegee's bias is apparent. But limits to the delegation of executive power to private administrators of law might exist in Article II. Those limits- in particular, their scope and the interplay among them-have been left underdeveloped by existing scholarship.

This Article explores the possibility of an Article II executive-power non-delegation doctrine for the private administration of federal ...


Regulatory Exit, J. B. Ruhl, James Salzman Oct 2015

Regulatory Exit, J. B. Ruhl, James Salzman

Vanderbilt Law Review

Exit is a ubiquitous feature of life, whether breaking up in a marriage, dropping a college course, or pulling out of a venture capital investment. In fact, our exit options often determine whether and how we enter in the first place. While legal scholarship is replete with studies of exit strategies for businesses and individuals, administrative law scholarship has barely touched the topic of exit. Yet exit plays just as central a role in the regulatory state as elsewhere- -welfare support ends, government steps out of rate-setting. In this Article, we argue that exit is a fundamental feature of regulatory ...


Tentative Interpretations: The Abracadabra Of Administrative Rulemaking And The End Of 'Alaska Hunters', Matthew P. Downer Apr 2014

Tentative Interpretations: The Abracadabra Of Administrative Rulemaking And The End Of 'Alaska Hunters', Matthew P. Downer

Vanderbilt Law Review

Agency flexibility is a battlefield. When circumstances change or a new regime takes power, federal agencies often adjust their settled regulations to reflect new realities. There is a persistent struggle, however, between preserving this flexibility and protecting those who relied upon the previous regulations.' When an agency changes course, regulated entities must comply, often with little warning and at great expense. In 1946, Congress passed the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA") to balance these interests by restricting when and how agencies can promulgate and change regulations.

Unsurprisingly, the APA did not achieve a lasting d6tente. Instead, it merely created new fronts ...


States, Agencies, And Legitimacy, Miriam Seifter Mar 2014

States, Agencies, And Legitimacy, Miriam Seifter

Vanderbilt Law Review

Scholarship on the administrative process has scarcely attended to the role that states play in federal regulation. This Article argues that it is time for that to change. An emerging, important new strand of federalism scholarship, known as "administrative federalism," now seeks to safeguard state interests in the administrative process and argues that federal agencies should consider state input when developing regulations. These ideas appear to be gaining traction in practice. States now possess privileged access to agency decisionmaking processes through a variety of formal and informal channels. And some courts have signaled support for the idea of a special ...


Resolving The Alj Quandary, Kent Barnett Apr 2013

Resolving The Alj Quandary, Kent Barnett

Vanderbilt Law Review

Federal administrative law judges ("ALJs") understand Euripides's irony all too well. They, along with Article I judges, are the demigods of federal adjudication. As both courts and ALJs have noted, the function of ALJs closely parallels that of Article III judges. ALJs hear evidence, decide factual issues, and apply legal principles in all formal administrative adjudications under the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA"). Indeed, they outnumber Article III judges and decide more than two hundred and fifty thousand cases each year. But they lack the defining characteristics of Article III deities.

Article III judges are installed under the Appointments Clause ...


Delegating Supremacy?, David S. Rubenstein May 2012

Delegating Supremacy?, David S. Rubenstein

Vanderbilt Law Review

The Supreme Court has long held that federal agencies may preempt state law in much the same way as Congress: either by issuing binding administrative rules that conflict with state law or by asserting exclusive federal control over a regulatory domain. Under this sweeping conception of the Supremacy Clause, agencies wield an extraordinary power in our federalist system. Specifically, agencies may displace the laws of all fifty states without the political and procedural safeguards inhering in the legislative process. The administrative-preemption power rests on the undertheorized doctrinal assumption that Congress may, in effect, "delegate supremacy" to agencies.

This Article challenges ...


Regulation In The Behavioral Era, Lisa Schultz Bressman, Michael P. Vandenbergh, Amanda R. Carrico Jan 2011

Regulation In The Behavioral Era, Lisa Schultz Bressman, Michael P. Vandenbergh, Amanda R. Carrico

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Administrative agencies have long proceeded on the assumption that individuals respond to regulations in ways that are consistent with traditional rational actor theory, but that is beginning to change. Agencies are now relying on behavioral economics to develop regulations that account for responses that depart from common sense and common wisdom, reflecting predictable cognitive anomalies. Furthermore, political officials have now called for behavioral economics to play an explicit role in White House review of agency regulations. This is a significant development for the regulatory process, yet our understanding of how behavioral insights should alter regulatory analysis is incomplete. To account ...


Gaming The Past: The Theory And Practice Of Historic Baselines In The Administrative State, J.B. Ruhl, James Salzman Jan 2011

Gaming The Past: The Theory And Practice Of Historic Baselines In The Administrative State, J.B. Ruhl, James Salzman

Vanderbilt Law Review

In 1988, candidate George H. W. Bush was in a tight race for the presidency, behind in the polls to the Democratic challenger, Michael Dukakis. Stung by the D+ grade given by the League of Conservation Voters, Bush was searching for a way to claw back some of the environmental vote.' He saw an opening in wetlands. Perceived as worthless swamps and wasted development opportunities for most of our nation's history, conversion of wetlands for agricultural and urban land uses has resulted in a staggering loss of resources. Beginning in the 1970s, however, views started to change, with growing ...


The Future Of Agency Independence, Lisa S. Bressman, Robert B. Thompson Apr 2010

The Future Of Agency Independence, Lisa S. Bressman, Robert B. Thompson

Vanderbilt Law Review

Independent agencies have long been viewed as different from executive-branch agencies because the President lacks authority to fire their leaders for political reasons, such as failure to follow administration policy. In this Article, we identify mechanisms that make independent agencies increasingly responsive to presidential preferences. We find these mechanisms in a context where independent agencies traditionally have dominated: financial policy. In legislative proposals for securing market stability, we point to statutorily mandated collaboration on policy between the Federal Reserve Board and the Secretary of the Treasury. In administration practices for improving securities regulation, we focus on White House coordination of ...


The Reviewability Of The President's Statutory Powers, Kevin M. Stack May 2009

The Reviewability Of The President's Statutory Powers, Kevin M. Stack

Vanderbilt Law Review

From the Supreme Court's earliest days, it has reviewed some, but not all, challenges to the President's claims that a statute authorized his action. Not surprisingly, the Court's decisions granting review of the President's assertions of statutory powers have garnered more attention than its denials of review. Beginning with Marbury v. Madison1 and Little v. Barreme,2 gaining momentum in the twentieth century with the extensive discussion of statutory authority in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer3 and Dames & Moore v. Regan,4 and accelerating in recent years with Hamdi v. Rumsfeld,5 Hamdan v. Rumsfeld ...


Reclaiming The Legal Fiction Of Congressional Delegation, Lisa Schultz Bressman Jan 2009

Reclaiming The Legal Fiction Of Congressional Delegation, Lisa Schultz Bressman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The framework for judicial review of agency statutory interpretations is based on a legal fiction – namely, that Congress intends to delegate interpretive authority to agencies. Critics argue that the fiction is false because Congress is unlikely to think about the delegation of interpretive authority at all, or in the way that the Court imagines. They also contend that the fiction is fraudulent because the Court does actually care about whether Congress intends to delegate interpretive authority in any particular instance, but applies a presumption triggered by statutory ambiguity or a particularized analysis involving factors unrelated to congressional delegation. In this ...


The "Hidden Judiciary": An Empirical Examination Of Executive Branch Justice, Chris Guthrie, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski, Andrew J. Wistrich Jan 2009

The "Hidden Judiciary": An Empirical Examination Of Executive Branch Justice, Chris Guthrie, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski, Andrew J. Wistrich

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Administrative law judges attract little scholarly attention, yet they decide a large fraction of all civil disputes. In this Article, we demonstrate that these executive branch judges, like their counterparts in the judicial branch, tend to make predominantly intuitive rather than predominantly deliberative decisions. This finding sheds new light on executive branch justice by suggesting that judicial intuition, not judicial independence, is the most significant challenge facing these important judicial officers.


Chevron's Mistake, Lisa Schultz Bressman Jan 2009

Chevron's Mistake, Lisa Schultz Bressman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

"Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc." asks courts to determine whether Congress has delegated to administrative agencies the authority to resolve questions about the meaning of statutes that those agencies implement, but the decision does not give courts the tools for providing a proper answer. Chevron directs courts to construe statutory text by applying the traditional theories of statutory interpretation-whether intentionalism, purposivism, or textualism-and to infer a delegation of agency interpretive authority only if they fail to find a relatively specific meaning. But the traditional theories, despite their differences, all invite courts to construe statutory ...


Judicial Deference And The Credibility Of Agency Commitments, Jonathan Masur May 2007

Judicial Deference And The Credibility Of Agency Commitments, Jonathan Masur

Vanderbilt Law Review

Consider the following situation: In late 2004, towards the end of President George W. Bush's first term, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration ("NHTSA"), pursuant to its congressionally delegated authority, promulgates a rule that would relax inspection and testing regimes for automobile manufacturers- thereby saving those firms substantial amounts of money-if the manufacturers independently deployed cutting-edge vehicle safety technology. The research and development of this technology will require significant up-front expenditures, and automobile manufacturers must decide whether to invest the funds necessary to bring the technology to market. However, the cost-benefit analysis is not so straightforward. The predicament, as ...


Deference And Democracy, Lisa Schultz Bressman Jan 2007

Deference And Democracy, Lisa Schultz Bressman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In "Chevron, U.S.A. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.", the Supreme Court famously held that judicial deference to agency interpretations of ambiguous statutes is appropriate largely because the executive branch is politically accountable for those policy choices. In recent cases, the Court has not displayed unwavering commitment to this decision or its principle of political accountability. This Article explores "Gonzales v. Oregon" as well as an earlier case, "FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp.", in which the administrations possessed strong claims of accountability yet the Court did not defer to the agency determinations. In both, the Court justified ...


Procedures As Politics In Administrative Law, Lisa Schultz Bressman Jan 2007

Procedures As Politics In Administrative Law, Lisa Schultz Bressman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Legal scholars view administrative law as alternately shaped by concerns for procedural integrity and issues of political control, and therefore as consisting of largely conflicting rules. But they have overlooked that the Court may be elaborating administrative law, and more particularly, administrative procedures, for a political purpose - to ensure that agency action roughly tracks legislative preferences. Thus, rather than vacillating between procedures and politics, the Court may be striving to negotiate two sorts of politics: congressional control, exercised through administrative procedures, and presidential control, vindicated by presumptive judicial deference. Positive political theorists, meanwhile, have appreciated that administrative procedures can assist ...


Inside The Administrative State: A Critical Look At The Practice Of Presidential Control, Lisa Schultz Bressman, Michael P. Vandenbergh Jan 2006

Inside The Administrative State: A Critical Look At The Practice Of Presidential Control, Lisa Schultz Bressman, Michael P. Vandenbergh

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

From the inception of the administrative state, scholars have proposed various models of agency decision-making to render such decision-making accountable and effective, only to see those models falter when confronted by actual practice. Until now, the presidential control model has been largely impervious to this pattern. That model, which brings agency decision-making under the direction of the President, has strengthened over time, winning broad scholarly endorsement and bipartisan political support. But it, like prior models, relies on abstractions - for example, that the President represents public preferences and resists parochial pressures - that do not hold up as a factual matter. Although ...


The Private Life Of Public Law, Michael P. Vandenbergh Jan 2005

The Private Life Of Public Law, Michael P. Vandenbergh

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article proposes a new conception of the administrative regulatory state that accounts for the vast networks of private agreements that shadow public regulations. The traditional account of the administrative state assigns a limited role to private actors: private firms and interest groups seek to influence regulations, and after the regulations are finalized, regulated firms face a comply-or-defy decision. In recent years, scholars have noted that private actors play an increasing role in the traditional government standard setting, implementation and enforcement functions. This Article demonstrates that the private role in each of these regulatory functions is far greater than others ...


How "Mead" Has Muddled Judicial Review Of Agency Action, Lisa Schultz Bressman Jan 2005

How "Mead" Has Muddled Judicial Review Of Agency Action, Lisa Schultz Bressman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In "United States v. Mead Corp.", the Supreme Court held that an agency is entitled to Chevron deference for interpretations of ambiguous statutory provisions only if Congress delegates, and the agency exercises, authority to issue such interpretations with "the force of law." The Court did not define "force of law," and thus did not determine what type of agency procedures fit within Mead. Four years have passed since the Court decided Mead, and despite numerous Court of Appeals decisions, we still do not know when an agency is entitled to Chevron deference for interpretations issued through procedures less formal than ...


Judicial Review Of Agency Inaction: An Arbitrariness Approach, Lisa Schultz Bressman Jan 2004

Judicial Review Of Agency Inaction: An Arbitrariness Approach, Lisa Schultz Bressman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article contends that the current law governing judicial review of agency inaction, though consistent with the prevailing theory of agency legitimacy, is inconsistent with the founding principles of the administrative state. The Supreme Court's reluctance to allow judicial review of agency inaction reflects the popular view that agency decision-making should be subject foremost to the scrutiny of politically accountable officials. The difficulty is that even scholars who generally support this view of agency decision-making reject the Court's treatment of agency inaction. Yet these scholars have failed to appreciate the reason. The reason is that the founding principles ...


Beyond Accountability, Lisa Schultz Bressman Jan 2003

Beyond Accountability, Lisa Schultz Bressman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article argues that efforts to square the administrative state with the constitutional structure have become too fixated on the concern for political accountability. As a result, those efforts have overlooked an important obstacle to agency legitimacy: the concern for administrative arbitrariness. Such thinking is evident in the prevailing model of the administrative state, which seeks to legitimate agencies by placing their policy decisions firmly under the control of the one elected official responsive to the entire nation-the President. This Article contends that the "presidential control" model cannot legitimate agencies because the model rests on a mistaken assumption about the ...


Disciplining Delegation After "Whitman V. American Trucking Ass'ns", Lisa Schultz Bressman Jan 2002

Disciplining Delegation After "Whitman V. American Trucking Ass'ns", Lisa Schultz Bressman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The Supreme Court's recent reversal of the D.C. Circuit's decision in "Whitman v. American Trucking Ass'ns" brings to center stage the critical question for disciplining delegation of lawmaking authority to administrative agencies: Should courts use constitutional law or administrative law for requiring agencies to supply the standards that guide and limit their lawmaking discretion when Congress does not? Professor Bressman argues that "Ashwander v. TVA" provides a resolution. In Ashwander, Justice Brandeis directed courts to refrain from deciding constitutional questions unless absolutely necessary to decide a particular case. Following Justice Brandeis' now famous teaching, courts should ...


Fmla Notice Requirements And The Chevron Test: Maintaining A Hard-Fought Balance, Shay E. Zeemer Jan 2002

Fmla Notice Requirements And The Chevron Test: Maintaining A Hard-Fought Balance, Shay E. Zeemer

Vanderbilt Law Review

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 ("FMLA" or "the Act"), an act that extends twelve weeks leave to employees for certain medical and family situations, seemed like a panacea for the everyday battles employees face in balancing work and family needs.' At last, the Act's supporters thought, an employee can take time off to care for a loved one, or have a child, and return to find his or her job intact. In the eight years since its enactment, how- ever, the FMLA finds employees and employers alike disillusioned, uncertain about rights and obligations, and still fighting ...