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Full-Text Articles in Law

Geier V. American Honda Motor Co.: A Story Of Statutes, Regulation And The Common Law, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2009

Geier V. American Honda Motor Co.: A Story Of Statutes, Regulation And The Common Law, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

This essay was written as a contribution to one of Foundation's "Story" series. In Geier, a lawsuit had been brought on behalf of a teenager whose injuries from an accident might have been lessened if her car had contained an airbag. Plaintiffs sued on the straightforward basis that the design choice to omit a safety device of proven merit made the car unreasonably hazardous. Federal safety regulations had required the maker of her car to install some such device as an airbag in at least 10% of the cars it made the year it made her car – but her ...


The Interdependent Relationship Between Internal And External Separation Of Powers, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2009

The Interdependent Relationship Between Internal And External Separation Of Powers, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

It has been the best of times and the worst of times for internal separation of powers. Over the past few years, internal checks on executive power have been a central topic of legal academic debate – rarely have details of public administrative structure received so much attention. To some extent, this sudden popularity reflects growing interest in questions of institutional design. Unfortunately, however, another reason for this attention is the prominent erosion and impotence of such internal constraints under the recent administration of President George W. Bush.


Chevron'S Two Steps, Kenneth A. Bamberger, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2009

Chevron'S Two Steps, Kenneth A. Bamberger, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

The framework for judicial review of administrative interpretations of regulatory statutes set forth in the landmark Chevron U.S.A. v. Natural Resources Defense Council decision prescribes two analytic inquiries, and for good reason. The familiar two-step analysis is best understood as a framework for allocating interpretive authority in the administrative state; it separates questions of statutory implementation assigned to independent judicial judgment (Step One) from questions regarding which the courts role is limited to oversight of agency decisionmaking (Step Two).

The boundary between a reviewing court's decision and oversight roles rests squarely on the question of statutory ambiguity ...


On Capturing The Possible Significance Of Institutional Design And Ethos, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2009

On Capturing The Possible Significance Of Institutional Design And Ethos, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

At a recent conference, a new judge from one of the federal courts of appeal – for the United States, the front line in judicial control of administrative action-made a plea to the lawyers in attendance. Please, he urged, in briefing and arguing cases reviewing agency actions, help us judges to understand their broader contexts. So often, he complained, the briefs and arguments are limited to the particular small issues of the case. We get little sense of the broad context in which it arises – the agency responsibilities in their largest sense, the institutional issues that may be at stake, how ...


Rulemaking And The American Constitution, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2009

Rulemaking And The American Constitution, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

A Constitution that strongly separates legislative from executive activity makes it difficult to reconcile executive adoption of regulations (that is, departmentally adopted texts resembling statutes and having the force of law, if valid) with the proposition that the President is not ‘to be a lawmaker’. Such activity is, of course, an essential of government in the era of the regulatory state. United States courts readily accept the delegation to responsible agencies of authority to engage in it, what we call ‘rulemaking’, so long as it occurs in a framework that permits them to assess the legality of any particular exercise ...


Ordinary Administrative Law As Constitutional Common Law, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2009

Ordinary Administrative Law As Constitutional Common Law, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

Last term, in Federal Communications Commission (FCC) v. Fox Television Stations, the Supreme Court expressly refused to link ordinary administrative law to constitutional concerns, insisting that whether an agency action is “arbitrary and capricious” and whether it is unconstitutional are separate questions. In this article, I argue that Fox is wrong. The Court’s protestations aside, constitutional law and ordinary administrative law are inextricably linked, with the result that a fair amount of ordinary administrative law qualifies as what Henry Monaghan famously termed constitutional common law. Its doctrines and requirements are constitutionally informed but rarely constitutionally mandated, with Congress and ...


Political Control Of Federal Prosecutions: Looking Back And Looking Forward, Daniel C. Richman Jan 2009

Political Control Of Federal Prosecutions: Looking Back And Looking Forward, Daniel C. Richman

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay explores the mechanisms of control over federal criminal enforcement that the administration and Congress used or failed to use during George W. Bush's presidency. It gives particular attention to Congress, not because legislators played a dominant role, but because they generally chose to play such a subordinate role. My fear is that the media focus on management inadequacies or abuses within the Justice Department during the Bush administration might lead policymakers and observers to overlook the hard questions that remain about how the federal criminal bureaucracy should be structured and guided during a period of rapidly shifting ...