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Full-Text Articles in Law

Government Ethics In The Age Of Trump, Adam Raviv Jan 2021

Government Ethics In The Age Of Trump, Adam Raviv

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Americans’ trust in government officials has never been lower. Despite the intense public focus on ethics in government in recent years, legal scholarship on the subject has been sparse. This Article fills the gap by examining the ethics regime of the federal executive branch in depth, with a discussion of both the applicable ethics standards and the agencies and offices that are charged with ensuring that government officials comply with those standards. The Article describes how the current system heavily emphasizes prevention, education, and highly detailed disclosures while it rarely enforces the law against wrongdoers. A federal official in the …


Illuminating Regulatory Guidance, Cary Coglianese Jan 2020

Illuminating Regulatory Guidance, Cary Coglianese

All Faculty Scholarship

Administrative agencies issue many guidance documents each year in an effort to provide clarity and direction to the public about important programs, policies, and rules. But these guidance documents are only helpful to the public if they can be readily found by those who they will benefit. Unfortunately, too many agency guidance documents are inaccessible, reaching the point where some observers even worry that guidance has become a form of regulatory “dark matter.” This article identifies a series of measures for agencies to take to bring their guidance documents better into the light. It begins by explaining why, unlike the …


Taking Public Access To The Law Seriously: The Problem Of Private Control Over The Availability Of Federal Standards, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2015

Taking Public Access To The Law Seriously: The Problem Of Private Control Over The Availability Of Federal Standards, Nina A. Mendelson

Articles

In the 1930s, Harvard professor Erwin Griswold famously complained about the enormous numbers of New Deal regulations that were obscurely published on individual sheets or in “separate paper pamphlets.” Finding these binding federal rules was difficult, leading to “chaos” and an “intolerable” situation. Congress responded, requiring that agencies publish all rules in the Federal Register and in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Currently, recent federal public laws, the entire U.S. Code, the Federal Register, and the CFR are all freely available online as well as in governmental depository libraries. But with respect to thousands of federal regulations, the clock …


Private Control Over Access To Public Law: The Perplexing Federal Regulatory Use Of Private Standards, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2014

Private Control Over Access To Public Law: The Perplexing Federal Regulatory Use Of Private Standards, Nina A. Mendelson

Articles

To save resources and build on private expertise, federal agencies have incorporated privately drafted standards into thousands of federal regulations — but only by “reference.” These standards range widely, subsuming safety, benefits, and testing standards. An individual who seeks access to this binding law generally cannot freely read it online or in a governmental depository library, as she can the U.S. Code or the Code of Federal Regulations. Instead, she generally must pay a significant fee to the drafting organization, or else she must travel to Washington, D.C., to the Office of the Federal Register’s reading room. This law, under …


The President's Enforcement Power, Kate Andrias Jan 2013

The President's Enforcement Power, Kate Andrias

Articles

Enforcement of law is at the core of the President’s constitutional duty to “take Care” that the laws are faithfully executed, and it is a primary mechanism for effecting national regulatory policy. Yet questions about how presidents oversee agency enforcement activity have received surprisingly little scholarly attention. This Article provides a positive account of the President’s role in administrative enforcement, explores why presidential enforcement has taken the shape it has, and examines the bounds of the President’s enforcement power. It demonstrates that presidential involvement in agency enforcement, though extensive, has been ad hoc, crisis-driven, and frequently opaque. The Article thus …


Disclosure's Effects: Wikileaks And Transparency, Mark Fenster Feb 2012

Disclosure's Effects: Wikileaks And Transparency, Mark Fenster

Mark Fenster

Constitutional, criminal, and administrative laws regulating government transparency, and the theories that support them, rest on the assumption that the disclosure of information has transformative effects: disclosure can inform, enlighten, and energize the public, or it can create great harm or stymie government operations. To resolve disputes over difficult cases, transparency laws and theories typically balance disclosure’s beneficial effects against its harmful ones. WikiLeaks and its vigilante approach to massive document leaks challenge the underlying assumption about disclosure’s effects in two ways. First, WikiLeaks’s ability to receive and distribute leaked information cheaply, quickly, and seemingly unstoppably enables it to bypass …


Foreword: Rulemaking, Democracy, And Torrents Of E-Mail, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2011

Foreword: Rulemaking, Democracy, And Torrents Of E-Mail, Nina A. Mendelson

Articles

This Foreword is meant as an initial foray into the question of what agencies should do with mass public comments, particularly on broad questions of policy. Part I discusses the extent to which congressional control, presidential control, and agency procedures themselves can ensure that agency decisions are democratically responsive. In view of shortcomings in both congressional and presidential control, I underscore the need to focus closely on rulemaking procedures as a source of democratic responsiveness. The possibility that agencies may be systematically discounting certain public submissions raises difficulties, and I present some examples. Part II makes a preliminary case that …


Disclosing 'Political' Oversight Of Agency Decision Making, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2010

Disclosing 'Political' Oversight Of Agency Decision Making, Nina A. Mendelson

Articles

Scholars and courts have divided views on whether presidential supervision enhances the legitimacy of the administrative state. For some, that the President can supervise administrative agencies is key to seeing agency action as legitimate, because of the President's accountability to the electorate. Others, however, have argued that such supervision may simply taint, rather than legitimate, an agency action. The reality is that presidential supervision of agency rulemaking, at least, appears to be both significant and opaque. This Article presents evidence from multiple presidential administrations suggesting that regulatory review conducted by the White House's Office of Management and Budget is associated …


Agency Hygiene, Nicholas Bagley Jan 2010

Agency Hygiene, Nicholas Bagley

Articles

Prof. Bagley notes that reshaping captured agencies using the structural reforms suggested by Prof. Barkow may be politically infeasible and offers an alternative solution for eliminating interest-group capture. First, he suggests establishing a body within the Executive Branch that proactively investigates and documents capture dynamics. Second, he suggests creating legislative mechanisms that will encourage Congressional action on the body’s recommendations, and perhaps, more provocatively, requiring the Executive Branch to enact any such recommendations in the absence of Congress’s formal objection.


Regulatory Beneficiaries And Informal Agency Policymaking, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2007

Regulatory Beneficiaries And Informal Agency Policymaking, Nina A. Mendelson

Articles

Administrative agencies frequently use guidance documents to set policy broadly and prospectively in areas ranging from Department of Education Title IX enforcement to Food and Drug Administration regulation of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising. In form, these guidances often closely resemble the policies agencies issue in ordinary notice-and-comment rulemaking. However, guidances are generally developed with little public participation and are often immune from judicial review. Nonetheless, guidances can prompt significant changes in behavior from those the agencies regulate. A number of commentators have guardedly defended the current state of affairs. Though guidances lack some important procedural safeguards, they can help agencies supervise …


The Sec At 70: Time For Retirement?, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2005

The Sec At 70: Time For Retirement?, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

The Article proceeds as follows. Part I explains the pathologies of the SEC and explores the relation between those pathologies and the SEC's status as an independent agency. Part II then outlines an alternative regulatory structure primarily situated within the executive branch. I also argue that such a relocation of authority would enhance regulatory effectiveness while simultaneously reducing the cost of excessive regulation. The Article concludes with some thoughts about the viability of my proposal.


The Sec At 70: Time For Retirement?, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2005

The Sec At 70: Time For Retirement?, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

As one grows older, birthdays gradually shift from being celebratory events to more reflective occasions. One's 40th birthday is commemorated rather differently from one's 2lst, which is, in turn, celebrated quite differently from one's first. After a certain point, the individual birthdays become less important and it is the milestone years to whch we pay particular attention. Sadly for entities like the Securities and Exchange Commission, it is only the milestone years (the ones ending in five or zero, for some reason), that draw any attention at all. No one held a conference to celebrate the SEC's 67th anniversary. Clearly …


Agency Burrowing: Entrenching Policies And Personnel Before A New President Arrives, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2003

Agency Burrowing: Entrenching Policies And Personnel Before A New President Arrives, Nina A. Mendelson

Articles

This Article examines executive branch agency actions concluded just before a new President takes office, such as "midnight" rulemaking and late-term hiring and promotion, which Professor Mendelson collectively refers to as "agency burrowing." Congress, the media, and some commentators have portrayed such activities as unsavory power grabs that undermine the President-elect's ability to direct the functions of administrative agencies. Rather than dismissing agency burrowing out of hand, however, Professor Mendelson argues for a more nuanced approach. In some cases, burrowing can make positive contributions to the democratic responsiveness of agencies, agency accountability, and the "rule of law." A fuller analysis …


Scope Of Disclosure Of Internal Revenue Communications And Information Files Under The Freedom Of Information Act, Peter R. Spanos Jan 1975

Scope Of Disclosure Of Internal Revenue Communications And Information Files Under The Freedom Of Information Act, Peter R. Spanos

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This article will discuss the proper scope of disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act of the files and administrative and policy materials of the IRS, with particular attention to the following currently contested issues: (1) the extent to which IRS guideline documents and private letter rulings are subject to disclosure; (2) the proper scope of the FOIA exemption for "interagency or intra-agency memorandums or letters which would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency" as applied to the IRS; and (3) the scope of the exemption for "investigatory records …


The Civil Investigative Demand: New Fact-Finding Powers For The Antitrust Division, Richard L. Perry, William Simon Apr 1960

The Civil Investigative Demand: New Fact-Finding Powers For The Antitrust Division, Richard L. Perry, William Simon

Michigan Law Review

The complexity, scope and length of modem antitrust litigation bring to prominence the procedures by which evidence - particularly documentary evidence - is discovered and placed before the courts and administrative agencies. Fact-finding mechanisms now available for ferreting out and prosecuting violations make up an imposing array. These include the grand jury subpoena, the discovery provisions of the Federal Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure and the subpoena and visitorial powers of certain administrative agencies. The "civil investigative demand," a precomplaint compulsory process, is a new weapon proposed to be added to this arsenal. Few dispute the desirability of new …