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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Delegation Doctrine, Jonathan Adler Jan 2024

The Delegation Doctrine, Jonathan Adler

Faculty Publications

The nondelegation doctrine may remain moribund, but the outlines of a delegation doctrine may be visible in the Court’s recent jurisprudence. Instead of policing the limits on Congress’s power to delegate authority to administrative agencies, the Court has instead been focusing on whether the power administrative agencies seek to exercise has been properly delegated by Congress in the first place. This emerging delegation doctrine may be seen in both the Court’s recent major questions doctrine cases, as well as the Court’s decisions refining and constraining the Chevron doctrine. In both contexts the Court has embraced the principle that agencies may …


Democratic Accountability And Tax Enforcement, Joshua D. Blank, Leigh Osofsky Jan 2024

Democratic Accountability And Tax Enforcement, Joshua D. Blank, Leigh Osofsky

Faculty Publications

One of the most powerful charges that can be leveled against the IRS is that it is targeting taxpayers. Charges of political targeting have dogged the IRS for over a century, including in major controversies such as the alleged Tea Party auditing scandal in 2013. Commentators and scholars have long critiqued the IRS for focusing audit resources on some of the lowest-income Americans. And, most recently, a group of researchers estimated that the IRS audits Black taxpayers at a 2.9 to 4.7 times greater rate, as compared to non-Black taxpayers. In response, legislators demanded action, there was widespread public consternation, …


The Independent Agency Myth, Neal Devins, David E. Lewis Nov 2023

The Independent Agency Myth, Neal Devins, David E. Lewis

Faculty Publications

Republicans and Democrats are fighting the wrong fight over independent agencies. Republicans are wrong to see independent agencies as anathema to hierarchical presidential control of the administrative state. Democrats are likewise wrong to reflexively defend independent agency expertise and influence. Supreme Court Justices also need to break free from this trap; the ongoing struggle over independent agencies should be about facts, not partisan rhetoric.

This Article seeks to reframe the fight over independent agencies. By surveying executive branch and independent agency department heads and supervisors during the Obama (2014) and Trump (2020) administrations, we have assembled unique and expansive data …


Trading Nonenforcement, Ryan Snyder Apr 2023

Trading Nonenforcement, Ryan Snyder

Faculty Publications

In recent years, federal agencies have increasingly used nonenforcement as a bargaining chip—promising not to enforce a legal requirement in exchange for a regulated party’s promise to do something else that the law doesn’t require. This Article takes an in-depth look at how these nonenforcement trades work, why agencies and regulated parties make them, and the effects they have on social policy. The Article argues that these trades pose serious risks: Agencies often use trading to evade procedural and substantive limits on their power. The trades themselves present fairness problems, both because they tend to reward large, well-connected firms and …


Standing Without Injury, Jonathan Adler Jan 2023

Standing Without Injury, Jonathan Adler

Faculty Publications

It is well-established that injury in fact is an essential element of Article III standing, but should it be? Academics have long criticized the Supreme Court’s standing jurisprudence. These criticisms are now being echoed by federal judges. Judge Kevin Newsom, for one, has suggested existing standing jurisprudence has become ungrounded from constitutional text, incoherent, and administrable. He suggests abandoning injury in fact altogether, and recognizing broad congressional power to authorize causes of action to sue in federal court, subject only to those limits imposed by the executive branch’s obligation to “Take Care” that the laws are faithfully executed. In short, …


Normalizing Reproductive Genetic Innovation, Myrisha S. Lewis Jul 2022

Normalizing Reproductive Genetic Innovation, Myrisha S. Lewis

Faculty Publications

Many societally accepted techniques were quite controversial at inception and for decades after. For example, historically, dialysis was “unnatural,” vaccination was “the poisoned quill,” and artificial insemination was akin to adultery. Despite social and cultural hurdles, the aforementioned medical techniques have today attained overall public acceptance, permissive legal treatment, and even health insurance coverage in some cases.

Unlike many now-routine treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF), egg freezing, and organ transplantation, which flourished without significant governmental intervention, today’s controversial medical treatments, especially those involving reproductive genetic innovation, face intense regulatory barriers. Reproductive genetic innovation, which is the combination of IVF …


The Inequity Of Informal Guidance, Joshua D. Blank, Leigh Z. Osofsky Jan 2022

The Inequity Of Informal Guidance, Joshua D. Blank, Leigh Z. Osofsky

Faculty Publications

The coexistence of formal and informal law is a hallmark feature of the U.S. tax system. Congress and the Treasury enact formal law, such as statutes and regulations, while the Internal Revenue Service offers the public informal explanations and summaries, such as taxpayer publications, website frequently asked questions, virtual assistants, and other types of taxpayer guidance. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS increased its use of informal law to help taxpayers understand complex emergency relief rules implemented through the tax system.

In contrast to many other legal scholars who have examined important administrative law issues regarding informal tax guidance, in …


The Emergency Next Time, Noa Ben-Asher Jan 2022

The Emergency Next Time, Noa Ben-Asher

Faculty Publications

This Article offers a new conceptual framework to understand the connection between law and violence in emergencies. It is by now well-established that governments often commit state violence in times of national security crisis by implementing excessive emergency measures. The Article calls this type of legal violence “Emergency-Affirming Violence.” But Emergency Violence can also be committed through governmental non-action. This type of violence, which this Article calls, “Emergency-Denying Violence,” has manifested in the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Article offers a taxonomy to better understand the phenomenon of Emergency Violence. Using 9/11 and COVID-19 as examples, the Article proposes …


Deference Is Dead, Long Live Chevron, Nathan D. Richardson Jul 2021

Deference Is Dead, Long Live Chevron, Nathan D. Richardson

Faculty Publications

Chevron v. NRDC has stood for more than 35 years as the central case on judicial review of administrative agencies’ interpretations of statutes. Its contours have long been debated, but more recently it has come under increasing scrutiny, with some—including two sitting Supreme Court Justices—calling for the case to be overturned. Others praise Chevron, calling deference necessary or even inevitable. All seem to agree the doctrine is powerful and important.

This standard account is wrong, however. Chevron is not the influential doctrine it once was and has not been for a long time. It has been eroded from the outside …


Strength In Numbers (Of Words): Empirical Analysis Of Preambles And Public Comments, Anthony L. Moffa Jan 2021

Strength In Numbers (Of Words): Empirical Analysis Of Preambles And Public Comments, Anthony L. Moffa

Faculty Publications

The empirical observation of a four-decades-long trend towards longer and longer federal agency rulemakings laid the foundation for this series of studies and associated law review articles. The second in that series, this work will add necessary data, test important hypotheses, and draw new conclusions to guide policymakers. Any serious observer of the Federal Register recognizes that different sections of a rulemaking serve different purposes. And agencies have historically utilized one section in particular to insulate their rules from judicial vacation or remand – the “concise general statement of basis and purpose.” Thus, this new study will collect and analyze …


The Case Against Prosecuting Refugees, Evan J. Criddle Nov 2020

The Case Against Prosecuting Refugees, Evan J. Criddle

Faculty Publications

Within the past several years, the U.S. Department of Justice has pledged to prosecute asylum-seekers who enter the United States outside an official port of entry without inspection. This practice has contributed to mass incarceration and family separation at the U.S.–Mexico border, and it has prevented bona fide refugees from accessing relief in immigration court. Yet, federal judges have taken refugee prosecution in stride, assuming that refugees, like other foreign migrants, are subject to the full force of American criminal justice if they skirt domestic border controls. This assumption is gravely mistaken.

This Article shows that Congress has not authorized …


Delegation And Time, Jonathan H. Adler, Christopher J. Walker Jan 2019

Delegation And Time, Jonathan H. Adler, Christopher J. Walker

Faculty Publications

Most concerns about delegation are put in terms of the handover of legislative power to federal agencies and the magnitude of the legislative policy decisions made by such agencies. Likewise, most reform proposals, such as the Congressional Review Act and the proposed REINS Act, address these gap-filling, democratic-deficit concerns. The same is true of the judicially created non-delegation canons, such as the major questions doctrine and other clear-statement rules. This Article addresses a different, under-explored dimension of the delegation problem: the temporal complications of congressional delegation. In other words, broad congressional delegations of authority at one time period become a …


Traditional Ecological Knowledge In Environmental Decisionmaking, Anthony Moffa Jan 2019

Traditional Ecological Knowledge In Environmental Decisionmaking, Anthony Moffa

Faculty Publications

Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) is defined as a deep understanding of the environment developed by local communities and indigenous peoples over generations. In the United States, Canada, and around the world, indigenous peoples are increasingly advocating for incorporation of TEK into a range of environmental decisionmaking contexts, including natural resource and wildlife management, pollution standards, environmental and social planning, environmental impact assessment, and adaptation to climate change. On October 31, 2018, ELI hosted an expert panel on TEK, co-sponsored by the National Native American Bar Association and the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. The panel discussed …


Divide & Concur: Separate Opinions & Legal Change, Thomas B. Bennett, Barry Friedman, Andrew D. Martin, Susan Navarro Smelcer May 2018

Divide & Concur: Separate Opinions & Legal Change, Thomas B. Bennett, Barry Friedman, Andrew D. Martin, Susan Navarro Smelcer

Faculty Publications

To the extent concurring opinions elicit commentary at all, it is largely contempt. They are condemned for muddying the clarity of the law, fracturing the court, and diminishing the authoritative voice of the majority. But what if this neglect, or even disdain, of concurring opinions is off the mark? In this article, we argue for the importance of concurring opinions, demonstrating how they serve as the pulse and compass of legal change. Concurring opinions let us know what is happening below the surface of the law, thereby encouraging litigants to push the law in particular directions. This is particularly true …


Centralized Review Of Tax Regulations, Clinton G. Wallace Jan 2018

Centralized Review Of Tax Regulations, Clinton G. Wallace

Faculty Publications

Centralized oversight of agency policymaking and spending by the President’s Office of Management and Budget is a hallmark of the modern administrative state. But tax regulations have almost never been subject to centralized review. The Trump administration recently proposed to require centralized review of tax regulations, but it is unclear what regulations would be subject to such review or how it would be conducted.

This Article examines the normative desirability of the longstanding approach of exempting tax regulations from centralized review, and the alternative of imposing such review. Scholars and policymakers have provided various incomplete justifications for excepting tax policy …


The Limits Of Copyright Office Expertise, Aaron K. Perzanowski Jan 2018

The Limits Of Copyright Office Expertise, Aaron K. Perzanowski

Faculty Publications

The mismatch between the expanding administrative and regulatory obligations of the United States Copyright Office and its limited institutional expertise is an emerging problem for the copyright system. The Office’s chief responsibility—registration and recordation of copyright claims—has taken a back seat in recent years to a more ambitious set of substantive rulemakings and policy recommendations. As the triennial rulemaking under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act highlights, the Office is frequently called upon to answer technological questions far beyond its plausible claims of subject matter expertise. This Article traces the Office’s history, identifies its substantial but discrete areas of expertise, and …


Auer Evasions, Jonathan Adler Jan 2018

Auer Evasions, Jonathan Adler

Faculty Publications

Auer v. Robbins requires federal courts to defer to federal agency interpretations of ambiguous regulations. Auer built upon, and arguably expanded, the Court’s long-standing practice of deferring to agency interpretations of their own regulations born in Bowles v. Seminole Rock. Although initially uncontroversial, the doctrine has come under fire from legal commentators and prominent jurists, including Auer’s author, the late Justice Antonin Scalia. As Justice Scalia came to recognize, Auer deference enables agencies to evade a wide range of legal constraints that are otherwise imposed upon agency behavior, the ability of agencies to take action with the force …


Congressional Control Of Tax Rulemaking, Clint Wallace Oct 2017

Congressional Control Of Tax Rulemaking, Clint Wallace

Faculty Publications

The notice and comment process is often touted as a mechanism for establishing political accountability, and providing a check on agency decision-making. Based on a survey of three years of recently proposed tax regulations, this Article shows that many notice-and-comment processes for tax regulations have been ineffective for these purposes. Fully one-third of the time, no one participated. The few participants there are have been heavily weighted towards private interests, which commented on approximately two-thirds of all proposed regulations from 2013 through 2015. In contrast, public interest groups commented on less than 24% of proposed regulations. If the notice and …


Restoring Chevron's Domain, Jonathan Adler Jan 2017

Restoring Chevron's Domain, Jonathan Adler

Faculty Publications

For some three decades, Chevron USA v. Natural Resources Defense Council has stood at the center of administrative law. Today, however, there are doubts about the doctrine’s continued vitality, and perhaps even its ultimate desirability. This brief article, based upon remarks delivered at Missouri Law Review symposium, suggests the scope of Chevron’s domain should be determined by its doctrinal grounding. Specifically, insofar as the Court’s subsequent application and elucidation of Chevron have indicated that the doctrine is predicated on a theory of delegation, courts should only provide such deference when the relevant power has been delegated by Congress. Correspondingly, …


Do Sagebrush Rebels Have A Colorable Claim? The Space Between Parochialism And Exclusion In Federal Lands Management, Ann M. Eisenberg Jan 2017

Do Sagebrush Rebels Have A Colorable Claim? The Space Between Parochialism And Exclusion In Federal Lands Management, Ann M. Eisenberg

Faculty Publications

This Article asks whether the troubling nature of the Sagebrush Rebellion and similar movements (e.g., their violence, antienvironmentalism, and racist overtones) has made us overly dismissive of a kernel of truth in their complaints. Commentators often acknowledge that federal lands management may be “unfair” to local communities, but the ethical and legal characteristics of the unfairness concern remain under-explored. Although the Sagebrush Rebellion and federal lands communities are far from synonymous, substantial overlap between the complaints and demands of Sagebrush Rebels and the complaints and demands of many regional local (and state) governments suggests that to explore the one necessitates …


The Constitution Of Agency Statutory Interpretation, Evan J. Criddle Nov 2016

The Constitution Of Agency Statutory Interpretation, Evan J. Criddle

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Anti-Disruption Statutory Construction, Jonathan Adler Jan 2016

Anti-Disruption Statutory Construction, Jonathan Adler

Faculty Publications

During his first ten years on the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts has adopted a pragmatic approach to statutory interpretation that appears to place a higher priority on avoiding disruptive consequences than on any particular interpretive methodology. Prepared for the symposium, “Ten Years the Chief: Examining a Decade of John Roberts on the Supreme Court,” at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, this brief essay argues that the Chief Justice’s approach to statutory interpretation exhibits a “Burkean minimalism” that seeks to reduce seismic effect of the Court’s decisions. In particular, the Chief Justice is drawn toward statutory interpretations …


Category Errors And Executive Power, Jonathan Adler Jan 2016

Category Errors And Executive Power, Jonathan Adler

Faculty Publications

In the context of implementing the Affordable Care Act and the Clean Air Act, the Obama Administration has asserted not only the authority to determine when, and how stringently, to enforce relevant provisions, but also the authority to waive or delay legal obligations enacted by Congress. These actions have prompted accusations that the Administration is exceeding the proper bounds of executive authority. The ensuing debate – and litigation – over these actions has generated a good deal of confusion about the nature and scope of executive power. Commentators have often misunderstood or mischaracterized the nature of the acts taken and …


Traditional Ecological Rulemaking, Anthony Moffa Jan 2016

Traditional Ecological Rulemaking, Anthony Moffa

Faculty Publications

This Article examines the implications of an increased role for Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in United States agency decisionmaking. Specifically, it contemplates where TEK might substantively and procedurally fit and, most importantly, whether a final agency action based on TEK would survive judicial scrutiny. In the midst of a growing body of scholarship questioning the wisdom of deference to agency expertise9 and the legitimacy of the administrative state writ large,10 this Article argues that there remains an important space in administrative rulemaking for the consideration of ways of understanding that differ from traditional Western norms. TEK can and should fill …


Longstanding Agency Interpretations, Anita S. Krishnakumar Jan 2015

Longstanding Agency Interpretations, Anita S. Krishnakumar

Faculty Publications

How much deference — or what kind — should courts give to longstanding agency interpretations of statutes? Surprisingly, courts and scholars lack a coherent answer to this question. Legal scholars long have assumed that longstanding agency statutory interpretations are treated with heightened deference on judicial review, and federal courts sometimes have made statements suggesting that this is the case. But in practice, federal court review of longstanding agency interpretations — at both the Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court levels — turns out to be surprisingly erratic. Reviewing courts sometimes note the longevity of an agency’s statutory interpretation …


The Transformative Twelfth Amendment, Joshua D. Hawley Apr 2014

The Transformative Twelfth Amendment, Joshua D. Hawley

Faculty Publications

This paper argues that the Twelfth Amendment represents far more than a mechanical adjustment of the electoral college. Rather, it is the constitutional text that gives us the political presidency that we know today. The Twelfth Amendment worked a major structural change in the relationship between the legislative and executive branches and for that reason bears directly on the debate over the unitary executive and the meaning of “executive power.” Specifically, presidential removal power is best justified not by the original Article II, but by the constitutional structure the Twelfth Amendment created. And the scope and definition of executive power …


A New Framework For Assessing Clinical Data Transparency Initiatives, Erika Lietzan Jan 2014

A New Framework For Assessing Clinical Data Transparency Initiatives, Erika Lietzan

Faculty Publications

Biopharmaceutical companies submit vast amounts of clinical data and analysis to support approval of their medicines, expecting the information to be kept confidential, as has been the practice of regulators around the world for decades. Over the last ten years, however, pressure has been mounting for regulators or industry to release this information. Legal scholars have generally taken the view that no relevant doctrines or bodies of law preclude the release of this material and that public policy considerations compel its release. This article argues that the scholarship to date has overlooked key considerations: the special issues presented by operation …


Pleading Patterns And The Role Of Litigation As A Driver Of Federal Climate Change Legislation, Juscelino F. Colares, Kosta Ristovski Jan 2014

Pleading Patterns And The Role Of Litigation As A Driver Of Federal Climate Change Legislation, Juscelino F. Colares, Kosta Ristovski

Faculty Publications

Based on a variant of the Elliott-Ackerman-Millian theory that variable, potentially inconsistent and costly litigation outcomes induce industry to seek federal preemptive legislation to reign in such costs, we collect data on climate change-related litigation to determine whether litigation might motivate major greenhouse gas emitters to accept a preemptive, though possibly carbon-restricting, legislative compromise. We conduct a spectral cluster analysis on 178 initial federal and state judicial filings to reveal the most relevant groupings among climate change-related suits and their underlying pleading patterns. Besides exposing the general content and structure of climate change-related filings, this study identifies major specific pleading …


Dislocation And Relocation: Women In The Federal Prison System And Repurposing Fci Danbury For Men, Anna Arons, Katherine Culver, Emma Kaufman, Jennifer Yun, Hope Metcalf, Megan Quattlebaum, Judith Resnik Jan 2014

Dislocation And Relocation: Women In The Federal Prison System And Repurposing Fci Danbury For Men, Anna Arons, Katherine Culver, Emma Kaufman, Jennifer Yun, Hope Metcalf, Megan Quattlebaum, Judith Resnik

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

This Report tracks the lack of progress in keeping federal prison space in the Northeast available for women and the impact of the absence of bed-spaces for women on the implementation of federal policies committed to reducing over-incarceration. The problems began in the summer of 2013, when the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) announced plans to transform its only prison for women in the Northeast—FCI Danbury—into a facility for men. The BOP explained that this self-described “mission change” was a response to the need to provide more low-security beds for male prisoners.


Hierarchically Variable Deference To Agency Interpretations, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl Dec 2013

Hierarchically Variable Deference To Agency Interpretations, Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl

Faculty Publications

When courts review agency action, they typically accord agency decisions a degree of deference. As many courts and commentators have recognized, the law in this area is complicated because it features numerous standards of review, including several distinct regimes for evaluating agencies’ legal interpretations. There is, however, at least one important respect in which uniformity rather than variety prevails: the applicable standards of review do not vary depending on which court is reviewing the agency. Whichever standard governs a particular case—Chevron, Skidmore, or something else—all courts in the judicial hierarchy are supposed to apply that same standard.

This Article proposes …