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The Making Of Presidential Administration, Ashraf Ahmed, Lev Menand, Noah Rosenblum Jan 2024

The Making Of Presidential Administration, Ashraf Ahmed, Lev Menand, Noah Rosenblum

Faculty Scholarship

Today, the idea that the President possesses at least some constitutional authority to direct administrative action is accepted by the courts, Congress, and the legal academy. But it was not always so. For most of American history — indeed until relatively recently — Presidents derived their authority over the administrative state largely from statute. Any role for the White House in agency rulemaking or adjudication had to be legally specified. Scholars mostly agree about when this change occurred. But the dominant shared narrative — exemplified by then-Professor Elena Kagan’s seminal article Presidential Administration — is Whig history. It offers a …


The Administrative State, Financial Regulation, And The Case For Commissions, Kathryn Judge, Dan Awrey Jan 2024

The Administrative State, Financial Regulation, And The Case For Commissions, Kathryn Judge, Dan Awrey

Faculty Scholarship

Administrative law is under attack, with the Supreme Court reviving, expanding, and creating doctrines that limit the authority and autonomy wielded by regulatory agencies. This anti-administrative turn is particularly alarming for financial regulation, which already faces enormous challenges stemming from the dynamism of modern finance, its growing complexity, and fundamental contestability. Yet that does not mean that defending the current regime is the optimal response. The complexity and dynamism of modern finance also undercut the efficacy of established administrative procedures. And the panoply of financial regulators with unclear and overlapping jurisdictional bounds only adds to the challenge. Both these procedural …


Our Unruly Administrative State, Philip A. Hamburger Jan 2023

Our Unruly Administrative State, Philip A. Hamburger

Faculty Scholarship

One of the perennial academic rituals of administrative “law” is to explain its compatibility with the rule of law. As surely as seasons pass, academics muster their formidable intellectual resources to reassure us, and themselves, that in pursuing administrative power, they have not abandoned the rule of law.

A more immediate justificatory project might be to explain the constitutionality of the administrative state. But notwithstanding valiant efforts, its constitutionality remains in doubt. So a fallback measure of its legitimacy seems valuable.

From this perspective, even if the administrative state is not quite constitutional, it can enjoy legitimacy under traditional common …


Chevron'S Ghost Rides Again, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2023

Chevron'S Ghost Rides Again, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

Professor Gary Lawson has offered a remarkable account of the fate of the Chevron doctrine during a recent year in the Supreme Court, from August 2021 to June 2022. When one examines lower court decisions, petitions seeking review of those decisions, briefs filed by the parties, and transcripts of oral arguments, Chevron made frequent appearances during the year. But when one reads the published opinions of the Court, one finds virtually no reference to Chevron. Based on the published opinions of the Court, it was as if the Chevron decision did not exist.

The status of Chevron as a …


Antitrust Rulemaking: The Ftc’S Delegation Deficit, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2023

Antitrust Rulemaking: The Ftc’S Delegation Deficit, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) recent assertion of authority to engage in legislative rulemaking in antitrust matters can be addressed in terms of three frameworks: the major questions doctrine, the Chevron doctrine, and as a matter of ordinary statutory interpretation. The article argues that as a matter of ordinary statutory interpretation the FTC has no such authority. This can be seen by considering the structure and history of the Act and is confirmed by the 1975 Federal Trade Commission Improvements Act. Given that the result follows from ordinary statutory interpretation, it is unnecessary for courts to consider the other two …


The Major Questions Doctrine: Right Diagnosis, Wrong Remedy, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2023

The Major Questions Doctrine: Right Diagnosis, Wrong Remedy, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

The Supreme Court’s “major questions” doctrine has been attacked as an attempt to revive the nondelegation doctrine. The better view is that this statutory interpretation responds to perceived failings of the Chevron doctrine, which has governed court-agency relations since 1984. This article criticizes the major question doctrine and proposes modifications to the Chevron doctrine that would partially correct its failings while preserving the traditional interpretive role of courts.


Administrative Harms, Philip A. Hamburger Jan 2023

Administrative Harms, Philip A. Hamburger

Faculty Scholarship

Administrative power imposes serious wounds on the United States, its Constitution, and its citizens. Therefore, a persuasive defense of administrative power would need to respond to these harms, showing that it is constitutional and otherwise desirable, notwithstanding its many costs. If the administrative state is defensible, it will be necessary to wrestle with all of the damage it incurs.


Presidential Progress On Climate Change: Will The Courts Interfere With What Needs To Be Done To Save Our Planet?, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 2021

Presidential Progress On Climate Change: Will The Courts Interfere With What Needs To Be Done To Save Our Planet?, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

The Biden Administration is undertaking numerous actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition away from fossil fuels as part of the fight against climate change. Many of these actions are likely to be challenged in court. This paper describes the various legal theories that are likely to be used in these challenges, assesses their prospects of success given the current composition of the Supreme Court, and suggests ways to minimize the risks.


Presidential Primacy Amidst Democratic Decline, Ashraf Ahmed, Karen M. Tani Jan 2021

Presidential Primacy Amidst Democratic Decline, Ashraf Ahmed, Karen M. Tani

Faculty Scholarship

Fifty years ago, when the Harvard Law Review asked Professor Harry Kalven, Jr., to take stock of the Supreme Court’s 1970 Term, Kalven faced a task not unlike Professor Cristina Rodríguez’s. That Term’s Court had two new members, Justices Harry Blackmun and Warren Burger. The Nixon Administration was young, but clearly bent on making its own stamp on American law, including via the Supreme Court. Kalven thus expected to see “dislocations” when he reviewed the Court’s recent handiwork. He reported the opposite. Surveying a Term that included such cases as Palmer v. Thompson, Younger v. Harris, Boddie v. …


How The Administrative State Got To This Challenging Place, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2021

How The Administrative State Got To This Challenging Place, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

Written for a dispersed agrarian population using hand tools in a local economy, our Constitution now controls an American government orders of magnitude larger that has had to respond to profound changes in transportation, communication, technology, economy, and scientific understanding. How did our government get to this place? The agencies Congress has created to meet these changes now face profound new challenges: transition from the paper to the digital age; the increasing centralization in an opaque, political presidency of decisions that Congress has assigned to diverse, relatively expert and transparent bodies; the thickening, as well, of the political layer within …


Taking Appropriations Seriously, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2021

Taking Appropriations Seriously, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

Appropriations lie at the core of the administrative state and are be­com­ing increasingly important as deep partisan divides have stymied sub­stan­tive legislation. Both Congress and the President exploit appropria­tions to control government and advance their policy agendas, with the border wall battle being just one of several recent high-profile examples. Yet in public law doctrine, appropriations are ignored, pulled out for spe­cial legal treatment, or subjected to legal frameworks ill-suited for appro­priations realities. This Article documents how appropriations are mar­ginalized in a variety of public law contexts and assesses the reasons for this unjustified treatment. Appro­priations’ doctrinal marginalization does not …


Judges And The Deregulation Of The Lawyer's Monopoly, Jessica K. Steinberg, Anna E. Carpenter, Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark Jan 2021

Judges And The Deregulation Of The Lawyer's Monopoly, Jessica K. Steinberg, Anna E. Carpenter, Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark

Faculty Scholarship

In a revolutionary moment for the legal profession, the deregulation of legal services is taking hold in many parts of the country. Utah and Arizona, for instance, are experimenting with new regulations that permit nonlawyer advocates to play an active role in assisting citizens who may not otherwise have access to legal services. In addition, amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct in both states, as well as those being contemplated in California, now allow nonlawyers to have a partnership stake in law firms, which may dramatically change the way capital for the delivery of legal services is raised as …


The Three Permissions: Presidential Removal And The Statutory Limits Of Agency Independence, Jane Manners, Lev Menand Jan 2021

The Three Permissions: Presidential Removal And The Statutory Limits Of Agency Independence, Jane Manners, Lev Menand

Faculty Scholarship

Seven words stand between the President and the heads of over a dozen “independent agencies”: inefficiency, neglect of duty, and malfea­sance in office (INM). The President can remove the heads of these agencies for INM and only INM. But neither Congress nor the courts have defined INM and hence the extent of agency independence. Stepping into this void, some proponents of presidential power argue that INM allows the President to dismiss officials who do not follow presidential directives. Others contend that INM is unconstitutional because it prevents Presidents from fulfilling their duty to take care that the laws are faithfully …


Arguing About The Jus Ad Bellum, Monica Hakimi Jan 2021

Arguing About The Jus Ad Bellum, Monica Hakimi

Faculty Scholarship

Quite a bit of research suggests that international law’s argumentative practice has value insofar as it leads to or affirms some kind of normative settlement. This chapter uses the argumentative practice in the jus ad bellum to counter that view. The chapter’s central claim is that arguments about the jus ad bellum are valuable, even when they do not lead to normative settlement and the law’s content on the issue in dispute remains contested. The reason they are valuable is that they promote certain values that are associated with the rule of law.


The Uncertain Future Of Administrative Law, Jeremy K. Kessler, Charles F. Sabel Jan 2021

The Uncertain Future Of Administrative Law, Jeremy K. Kessler, Charles F. Sabel

Faculty Scholarship

A volatile series of presidential transitions has only intensified the century-long conflict between progressive defenders and conservative critics of the administrative state. Yet neither side has adequately confronted the fact that the growth of uncertainty and the corresponding spread of guidance – a kind of provisional “rule” that invites its own revision – mark a break in the development of the administrative state as significant as the rise of notice-and-comment rulemaking in the 1960s and 1970s. Whereas rulemaking corrected social shortsightedness by enlisting science in the service of lawful administration, guidance acknowledges that both science and law are in need …


The Federal Reserve And The 2020 Economic And Financial Crisis, Lev Menand Jan 2021

The Federal Reserve And The 2020 Economic And Financial Crisis, Lev Menand

Faculty Scholarship

This Article provides a comprehensive legal analysis of the Federal Reserve's response to the 2020 economic and financial crisis. First, it examines the sixteen ad hoc lending facilities that the Fed established to fight the crisis and sorts them into two categories. Six advance the Fed's monetary mission and were designed to halt a run on financial institutions. Ten go beyond the Fed's traditional role and are designed to directly support financial markets and the real economy. Second, it maps these programs onto the statutory framework for money and banking. It shows that Congress's signature crisis legislation, the CARES Act, …


Re-Reading Chevron, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2021

Re-Reading Chevron, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

Though increasingly disfavored by the Supreme Court, Chevron remains central to administrative law doctrine. This Article suggests a way for the Court to reformulate the Chevron doctrine without overruling the Chevron decision. Through careful attention to the language of Chevron itself, the Court can honor the decision’s underlying value of harnessing comparative institutional advantage in judicial review, while setting aside a highly selective reading that unduly narrows judicial review. This re-reading would put the Chevron doctrine – and with it, an entire branch of administrative law – on firmer footing.


The Equity E.O.: Building A Regulatory Infrastructure Of Inclusion, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2021

The Equity E.O.: Building A Regulatory Infrastructure Of Inclusion, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

Among his first acts, President Biden signed Executive Order 13,985 to advance “Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.” Alongside an order directing regulatory review to include “social welfare, racial justice, environmental stewardship, human dignity, equity, and the interests of future generations” and an ambitious infrastructure plan, this Equity E.O. signals a new engagement of the administrative state in proactively promoting racial equity and other dimensions of inclusion. The outlines of the infrastructure initiative are still emerging, but what appears key is its conceptualization of infrastructure as extending beyond roads and buildings to the social and …


Power Transitions In A Troubled Democracy, Peter L. Strauss, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2021

Power Transitions In A Troubled Democracy, Peter L. Strauss, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

Written as our contribution to a festschrift for the noted Italian administrative law scholar Marco D’Alberti, this essay addresses transition between Presidents Trump and Biden, in the context of political power transitions in the United States more generally. Although the Trump-Biden transition was marked by extraordinary behaviors and events, we thought even the transition’s mundane elements might prove interesting to those for whom transitions occur in a parliamentary context. There, succession can happen quickly once an election’s results are known, and happens with the new political government immediately formed and in office. The layer of a new administration’s political leadership …


Judicial Credibility, Bert I. Huang Jan 2020

Judicial Credibility, Bert I. Huang

Faculty Scholarship

Do people believe a federal court when it rules against the government? And does such judicial credibility depend on the perceived political affiliation of the judge? This study presents a survey experiment addressing these questions, based on a set of recent cases in which both a judge appointed by President George W. Bush and a judge appointed by President Bill Clinton declared the same Trump Administration action to be unlawful. The findings offer evidence that, in a politically salient case, the partisan identification of the judge – here, as a “Bush judge” or “Clinton judge” – can influence the credibility …


Delegating Or Divesting?, Philip A. Hamburger Jan 2020

Delegating Or Divesting?, Philip A. Hamburger

Faculty Scholarship

A gratifying feature of recent scholarship on administrative power is the resurgence of interest in the Founding. Even the defenders of administrative power hark back to the Constitution’s early history – most frequently to justify delegations of legislative power. But the past offers cold comfort for such delegation.

A case in point is Delegation at the Founding by Professors Julian Davis Mortenson and Nicholas Bagley. Not content to defend the Supreme Court’s current nondelegation doctrine, the article employs history to challenge the doctrine – arguing that the Constitution does not limit Congress’s delegation of legislative power. But the article’s most …


Fixing America's Founding, Maeve Glass Jan 2020

Fixing America's Founding, Maeve Glass

Faculty Scholarship

The forty-fifth presidency of the United States has sent lawyers reaching once more for the Founders’ dictionaries and legal treatises. In courtrooms, law schools, and media outlets across the country, the original meanings of the words etched into the U.S. Constitution in 1787 have become the staging ground for debates ranging from the power of a president to trademark his name in China to the rights of a legal permanent resident facing deportation. And yet, in this age when big data promises to solve potential challenges of interpretation and judges have for the most part agreed that original meaning should …


Coordinating Injunctions, Bert I. Huang Jan 2020

Coordinating Injunctions, Bert I. Huang

Faculty Scholarship

Consider this scenario: Two judges with parallel cases are each ready to issue an injunction. But their injunctions may clash, ordering incompatible actions by the defendant. Each judge has written an opinion justifying her own intended relief, but the need to avoid conflicting injunctions presses her to make a further choice – “Should I issue the injunction or should I stay it for now?” Each must make this decision in anticipation of what the other will do.

This Article analyzes such a judicial coordination problem, drawing on recent examples including the DACA cases and the “sanctuary cities” cases. It then …


The Case For "Unfair Methods Of Competition" Rulemaking, Rohit Chopra, Lina M. Khan Jan 2020

The Case For "Unfair Methods Of Competition" Rulemaking, Rohit Chopra, Lina M. Khan

Faculty Scholarship

A key feature of antitrust today is that the law is developed entirely through adjudication. Evidence suggests that this exclusive reliance on adjudication has failed to deliver a predictable, efficient, or participatory antitrust regime. Antitrust litigation and enforcement are protracted and expensive, requiring extensive discovery and costly expert analysis. In theory, this approach facilitates nuanced and fact-specific analysis of liability and well-tailored remedies. But in practice, the exclusive reliance on case-by-case adjudication has yielded a system of enforcement that generates ambiguity, drains resources, privileges incumbents, and deprives individuals and firms of any real opportunity to participate in the process of …


Recovering The Lost History Of Presidential Removal Law, Jane Manners, Lev Menand Jan 2020

Recovering The Lost History Of Presidential Removal Law, Jane Manners, Lev Menand

Faculty Scholarship

On March 3, 2020, the Supreme Court heard argument in Seila Law v. CFPB, the biggest removal law case since Free Enterprise Fund v. PCAOB was decided a decade ago. The petitioner challenges the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the independent agency established by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act (DFA) to protect consumers from harmful financial products. Seila Law, a California firm under investigation by the CFPB for its debt-relief marketing practices, argues that statutory limits specifying that the president can fire the CFPB director only for “inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office” (INM) violate the …


The Roberts Court And Administrative Law, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2020

The Roberts Court And Administrative Law, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

Administrative law today is marked by the legal equivalent of mortal combat, where foundational principles are fiercely disputed and basic doctrines are offered up for “execution.” Several factors have led to administrative law’s currently fraught status. Increasingly bold presidential assertions of executive power are one, with President Trump and President Obama before him using presidential control over administration to advance controversial policies that failed to get congressional sanction. In the process, they have deeply enmeshed administrative agencies in political battles – indeed, for President Trump, administrative agencies are the political battle, as his administration has waged an all-out war on …


Why Financial Regulation Keeps Falling Short, Dan Awrey, Kathryn Judge Jan 2020

Why Financial Regulation Keeps Falling Short, Dan Awrey, Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

This article argues that there is a fundamental mismatch between the nature of finance and current approaches to financial regulation. Today’s financial system is a dynamic and complex ecosystem. For these and other reasons, policy makers and market actors regularly have only a fraction of the information that may be pertinent to decisions they are making. The processes governing financial regulation, however, implicitly assume a high degree of knowability, stability, and predictability. Through two case studies and other examples, this article examines how this mismatch undermines financial stability and other policy aims. This examination further reveals that the procedural rules …


Seeing Transparency More Clearly, David E. Pozen Jan 2020

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 …


Eroding "Checks" On Presidential Authority – Norms, The Civil Service, And The Courts, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2019

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

Faculty Scholarship

Susan Rose-Ackerman's "Executive Rulemaking and Democratic Legitimacy: 'Reform' in the United States and the United Kingdom's Route to Brexit" insightfully illuminates important differences between parliamentary and presidential systems of government in relation to executive bodies' production of the large volume of secondary legislation common, indeed inevitable, for both. Agreeing heartily with her conclusion that the weakness of parliamentary engagement with secondary legislation, and limited judicial review of its production, counsels greater provision for public participation and transparency of action at the agency level, there is little for me to add. Aware, too, as she remarks, that others have dealt more …


Showcase Panel I: What Is Regulation For?, Richard Epstein, Philip A. Hamburger, Kathryn Kovacs, John D. Michaels, Britt Grant Jan 2019

Showcase Panel I: What Is Regulation For?, Richard Epstein, Philip A. Hamburger, Kathryn Kovacs, John D. Michaels, Britt Grant

Faculty Scholarship

2018 National Lawyers Convention Transcripts

“The administrative state, with roots over a century old, was founded on the premise that Congress lacked the expertise to deal with the many complex issues facing government in a fast-changing country, and that it was unhelpfully mired in and influenced by politics, leading to bad outcomes when it did act. The alternative was to establish administrative agencies, each with assigned areas of responsibility, housing learned experts qualified to make policy decisions, deliberately insulated from political accountability. The Administrative Procedure Act (APA), passed in 1946, both governs the manner in which agencies may adopt and …