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Major Contradictions At The Roberts Court, Edward L. Rubin Nov 2023

Major Contradictions At The Roberts Court, Edward L. Rubin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The Roberts Court may well overturn the Chevron doctrine this Term, despite the affection for stare decisis that Chief Justice Roberts himself expressed in the related case of Kisor v. Wilkie. Against that backdrop, Professors Jodi Short and Jed Shugerman offer an analysis of why the Court’s major questions doctrine, a predecessor to interring Chevron, is inconsistent with another group of the Court’s opinions, which the authors describe as the Court’s presidentialism.

Their analysis is incisive. While addressed to a Court that has a rather cavalier attitude toward doctrinal coherence, the article’s convincing empirical evidence may encourage the Justices to …


Representative Rulemaking, Jim Rossi, Kevin Stack Nov 2023

Representative Rulemaking, Jim Rossi, Kevin Stack

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The dominant form of lawmaking in the United States today-—notice-and-comment rulemaking—-is not a representative process. Notice-and-comment simply invites public participation, leaving the overall balance of engagement with the proposed regulations to the choices of individuals, public interest groups, trade groups, and regulated businesses. The result is a predictable one: In most rulemakings, industry voices dominate, and in many rulemakings, there is no participation by citizens or public interest groups. This representation deficit must be taken seriously. The basic rationales for a notice-and-comment rulemaking process depend upon some level of representation for those affected. The goal of providing the agency with …


Administrative Regulation Of Programmatic Policing: Why "Leaders Of A Beautiful Struggle" Is Both Right And Wrong, Christopher Slobogin Jul 2023

Administrative Regulation Of Programmatic Policing: Why "Leaders Of A Beautiful Struggle" Is Both Right And Wrong, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle v. Baltimore Police Department, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Aerial Investigation Research (AIR), Baltimore's aerial surveillance program, violated the Fourth Amendment because it was not authorized by a warrant. AIR was constitutionaly problematic, but not for the reason given by the Fourth Circuit. AIR, like many other technologically-enhanced policing programs that rely on closed-circuit television (CCTV), automated license plate readers and the like, involves the collection and retention of information about huge numbers ofpeople. Because individualized suspicion does not exist with respect to any of these people's information, an individual-specific warrant …


Classaction.Gov, Amanda M. Rose Jan 2021

Classaction.Gov, Amanda M. Rose

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Essay proposes the creation of a federally run class action website and supporting administration (collectively, Classaction.gov) that would both operate a comprehensive research database on class actions and assume many of the notice and claims-processing functions performed by class action claims administrators today. Classaction.gov would bring long-demanded transparency to class actions and, through forces of legitimization and coordination, would substantially increase the rate of consumer participation in class action settlements. It also holds the key to mitigating other problems in class action practice, such as the inefficiencies and potential abuses associated with multiforum litigation, the limited success of the …


Chevron Is A Phoenix, Lisa Bressman, Kevin Stack Jan 2021

Chevron Is A Phoenix, Lisa Bressman, Kevin Stack

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Judicial deference to agency interpretations of their own statutes is a foundational principle of the administrative state. It recognizes that Congress has the need and desire to delegate the details of regulatory policy to agencies rather than specify those details or default to judicial determinations. It also recognizes that interpretation under regulatory statutes is intertwined with implementation of those statutes. Prior to the famous decision in Chevron, the Supreme Court had long regarded judicial deference as a foundational principle of administrative law. It grew up with the administrative state alongside other foundational administrative law principles. In Chevron, the Court gave …


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 …


The Choice Between Single Director Agencies And Multimember Commissions, Ganesh Sitaraman, Ariel Dobkin Oct 2019

The Choice Between Single Director Agencies And Multimember Commissions, Ganesh Sitaraman, Ariel Dobkin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The question ofhow best to design a new agency is of immense public importance. Congress creates new agencies and reforms agency structures with some regularity, while commentators frequently callfor the creation of new or redesigned agencies. Scholars have, as a result, increasingly turned to studying the diversity of agency structures and questions of agency design.

In this Essay, we tackle one of the decisions that must be made in designing any new agency--the choice between a single-director agency and a multimember commission-and we make a general case against multimember commissions. For the most part, scholarly discussion of these structures is …


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 of executive orders …


Policing As Administration, Christopher Slobogin Dec 2016

Policing As Administration, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Police agencies should be governed by the same administrative principles that govern other agencies. This simple precept would have significant implications for regulation of police work, in particular the type of suspicionless, group searches and seizures that have been the subject of the Supreme Court's special needs jurisprudence (practices that this Article calls "panvasive"). Under administrative law principles, when police agencies create statute-like policies that are aimed at largely innocent categories of actors-as they do when administering roadblocks, inspection regimes, drug testing programs, DNA sampling programs, and data collection-they should have to engage in notice-and-comment rulemaking or a similar democratically …


Preambles As Guidance, Kevin M. Stack Sep 2016

Preambles As Guidance, Kevin M. Stack

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Debates over administrative agencies’ reliance on guidance documents have largely neglected the most authoritative source of guidance about the meaning of agency regulations: their preambles. This Article examines and defends the guidance function of preambles. Preambles were designed not only to provide the agency’s official justification for the regulations they introduce, but also to offer guidance about the regulation’s meaning and application. Today, preambles include extensive guidance ranging from interpretive commentary to application examples. Based on the place of preamble guidance as part of the agency’s formal explanation of the regulation and the rigorous internal agency vetting which accompanies that …


Dynamic Incorporation Of Federal Law, Jim Rossi Jan 2016

Dynamic Incorporation Of Federal Law, Jim Rossi

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article provides a comprehensive analysis of state constitutional limits on legislative incorporation of dynamic federal law, as occurs when a state legislature incorporates future federal tax, environmental or health laws. Many state judicial decisions draw on the nondelegation doctrine to endorse an ex ante prohibition on state legislative incorporation of dynamic federal law. However, the analysis in this Article shows how bedrock principles related to separation of powers under state constitutions, such as protecting transparency, reinforcing accountability, and protecting against arbitrariness in lawmaking, are not consistent with this approach. Instead, this Article highlights two practices that can make dynamic …


Judicial Review Of Agency Benefit-Cost Analysis, W. Kip Viscusi, Caroline Cecof Apr 2015

Judicial Review Of Agency Benefit-Cost Analysis, W. Kip Viscusi, Caroline Cecof

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article evaluates judicial review of agency benefit-cost analysis ("BCA") by examining a substantial sample of thirty-eight judicial decisions on agency actions that implicate BCA. Essentially, the Administrative Procedure Act tasks federal courts with ensuring that federal agency action is reasonable. As more agencies use BCA to justify their rulemakings, the court's duty often requires judges to evaluate the reasonableness of agency BCAs. In this Article, we discuss the challenges that trigger judicial review of agency BCAs and the standards that govern the review. We then present specific examples of how courts analyze BCAs. Overall, we find many examples of …


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

Regulatory Exit, J.B. Ruhl, James Salzman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

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, the topic of exit has barely been touched in administrative law scholarship. 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 …


An Administrative Jurisprudence: The Rule Of Law In The Administrative State, Kevin M. Stack Jan 2015

An Administrative Jurisprudence: The Rule Of Law In The Administrative State, Kevin M. Stack

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Essay offers a specification of the rule of law's demands of administrative law and government inspired by Professor Peter L. Strauss's scholarship. It identifies five principles'authorization, notice, justification, coherence, and procedural fairness which provide a framework for an account of the rule of law's demands of administrative governance. Together these principles have intriguing results for the evaluation of administrative law. On the one hand, they reveal rule-of-law foundations for some contested positions, such as a restrictive view of the President's power to direct subordinate officials and giving weight to an agency's determination of the scope of its own authority. …


The Origins Of Legislation, Ganesh Sitaraman Jan 2015

The Origins Of Legislation, Ganesh Sitaraman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Although legislation is at the center of legal debates on statutory interpretation, administrative law, and delegation, little is known about how legislation is actually drafted. If scholars pay any attention to Congress at all, they tend to focus on what happens after legislation is introduced, ignoring how the draft came to exist in the first place. In other words, they focus on the legislative process, not the drafting process. The result is that our account of Congress, the legislative process, and the administrative state is impoverished, and debates in statutory interpretation and administrative law are incomplete. This Article seeks to …


Foreign Hard Look Review, Ganesh Sitaraman Jul 2014

Foreign Hard Look Review, Ganesh Sitaraman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

For decades, courts and scholars have been engaged in a protracted and largely polarized debate over a seemingly simple question: how should courts address cases that implicate foreign affairs? On the one hand are those who seek expansive deference to the Executive's conduct offoreign affairs. On the other are those who argue that the courts must enforce the rule of law in foreign affairs cases lest they abdicate their responsibility to keep the Executive in check This Article provides an alternative approach to the judicial role in foreign relations cases--one that navigates between judicial abdication and judicial entanglement. It argues …


Designing Administrative Law For Adaptive Management, J.B. Ruhl, Robin Craig Jan 2014

Designing Administrative Law For Adaptive Management, J.B. Ruhl, Robin Craig

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Administrative law needs to adapt to adaptive management. Adaptive management is a structured decision-making method the core of which is a multi-step iterative process for adjusting management measures to changing circumstances or new information about the effectiveness of prior measures or the system being managed. It has been identified as a necessary or best practices component of regulation in a broad range of fields, including drug and medical device warnings, financial system regulation, social welfare programs, and natural resources management. Nevertheless, many of the agency decisions advancing these policies remain subject to the requirements of either the federal Administrative Procedure …


The Permit Power Revisited, J.B. Ruhl, Eric Biber Jan 2014

The Permit Power Revisited, J.B. Ruhl, Eric Biber

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Two decades ago, Professor Richard Epstein fired a shot at the administrative state that has gone largely unanswered in legal scholarship. His target was the permit power, under which legislatures prohibit a specified activity by statute and delegate administrative agencies discretionary power to authorize the activity under terms the agency mandates in a regulatory permit. Describing the permit power, accurately, as an enormous power in the state, Epstein bemoaned that it had received scant attention in the academic literature. He sought to fill that gap. Centered on his premise that the permit power represents a complete inversion of the proper …


Harmonizing Commercial Wind Power And The Endangered Species Act Through Administrative Reform, J.B. Ruhl Jan 2012

Harmonizing Commercial Wind Power And The Endangered Species Act Through Administrative Reform, J.B. Ruhl

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article explores the intersection of utility-scale wind power development and the Endangered Species Act, which thus far has not been as happy a union as one might expect. Part I provides background on how the ESA and wind power have met in policy, permitting, and litigation. Part II then examines whether wind power (and other renewable energy sources) can and should receive a green pass under the ESA given its unquestioned climate change mitigation benefits, concluding that doing so would face a host of legal and policy concerns. Part III then outlines a model for administrative innovation of ESA …


Agency Coordination In Shared Regulatory Space, Jim Rossi, Jody Freeman Jan 2012

Agency Coordination In Shared Regulatory Space, Jim Rossi, Jody Freeman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article argues that inter-agency coordination is one of the great challenges of modern governance. It explains why lawmakers frequently assign overlapping and fragmented delegations that require agencies to "share regulatory space," why these delegations are so pervasive and stubborn, and why consolidating or eliminating agency functions will not solve the problems they create. The Article describes a variety of tools that Congress, the President and the agencies can use to manage coordination challenges effectively, including agency interaction requirements, formal inter-agency agreements, and joint policymaking. The Article assesses the relative costs and benefits of these coordination tools, using the normative …


Of Dialogue--And Democracy--In Administrative Law, Jim Rossi Jan 2012

Of Dialogue--And Democracy--In Administrative Law, Jim Rossi

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Linda Cohen and Matthew Spitzer's study, "The Government Litigant Advantage," sheds important light on how the Solicitor General's litigation behavior may impact the Supreme Court's decision making agenda and outcomes for regulatory and administrative law cases. By emphasizing how the Solicitor General affects cases that the Supreme Court decides, Cohen and Spitzer's findings confirm that administrative law's emphasis on lower appellate court decisions is not misplaced. Some say that D.C. Circuit cases carry equal-if not more-precedential weight than Supreme Court decisions in resolving administrative law issues. Cohen and Spitzer use positive political theory to provide a novel explanation for some …


The Implications Of Disentanglement, Christopher Slobogin Jul 2011

The Implications Of Disentanglement, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Scholars have long used the term "administrative search cases" to refer to judicial decisions dealing with searches carried out by officials other than the police and designed to implement prohibitions that are as much regulatory as criminal. These searches include health and safety inspections, roadblocks, drug testing, and searches of school children and public employees for evidence of rule violations. In her article Disentangling Administrative Searches,' Professor Eve Brensike Primus makes three distinct claims about the Supreme Court's decisions on this subject. Her first and most important argument is that, contrary to the usual view, these cases are not all …


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

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

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This article explores in detail the attributes and operation of historic baselines. That historic baselines are found throughout regulatory law is no accident. Particularly when the policy goal involves turning back the clock or halting an undesirable trend, historic baselines have distinct advantages compared to alternative techniques for standard setting. These advantages include rhetoric, familiarity, and flexibility. The use of the temporal reference point lies at the heart of what makes historic baselines distinct in this respect, yet it is also what makes them qualitatively different for purposes of gaming. Leveraging the past provides an additional dimension to the gaming …


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 …


Climate Change, Dead Zones, And Massive Problems In The Administrative State: A Guide For Whittling Away, J.B. Ruhl, James Salzman Jan 2010

Climate Change, Dead Zones, And Massive Problems In The Administrative State: A Guide For Whittling Away, J.B. Ruhl, James Salzman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Mandates that agencies solve massive problems such as sprawl and climate change roll easily out of the halls of legislatures, but as a practical matter what can any one agency do about them? Serious policy challenges such as these have dimensions far beyond the capacity of any single agency to manage effectively. Rather, as the Supreme Court recently observed in Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, agencies, like legislatures, do not generally resolve massive problems in one fell swoop, but instead whittle away over time, refining their approach as circumstances change and they develop a more nuanced understanding of how best …


Ecosystem Services And The Clean Water Act: Strategies For Fitting New Science Into Old Law, J.B. Ruhl Jan 2010

Ecosystem Services And The Clean Water Act: Strategies For Fitting New Science Into Old Law, J.B. Ruhl

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article explores the administrative reform potential that exists for integrating new knowledge about ecosystem services into Clean Water Act (CWA) regulatory programs as an example for all environmental laws. Part II of the Article reviews the relevant general rules of federal administrative law governing agency interpretation of the policy space available under statutory authority for integrating new science into decision making. Part III then explores the strategies an agency such as EPA can use under those rules to integrate the concept of ecosystem services into regulatory programs by searching for statutory provisions to support what I call "direct protection" …


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 text as …


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 …


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 …