Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 57

Full-Text Articles in Law

Influence Through Intimidation: Evidence From Business Lobbying And The Regulatory Process, Alex Acs, Cary Coglianese Jul 2021

Influence Through Intimidation: Evidence From Business Lobbying And The Regulatory Process, Alex Acs, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Interest group influence in the policy process is often assumed to occur through a mechanism of exchange, persuasion, or subsidy. Here, we explore how business groups may also exert influence by intimidating policymakers—a form of persuasion, but one based not on the provision of policy information but of political information. We develop a theory where a business firm lobbies a regulator to communicate political information about its capacity to commit to future influence-seeking activities that would sanction the regulator. The regulator assesses the credibility of this message by evaluating the firm’s commitment to lobbying. Guided by our theory ...


Ai In Adjudication And Administration, Cary Coglianese, Lavi M. Ben Dor Jul 2021

Ai In Adjudication And Administration, Cary Coglianese, Lavi M. Ben Dor

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The use of artificial intelligence has expanded rapidly in recent years across many aspects of the economy. For federal, state, and local governments in the United States, interest in artificial intelligence has manifested in the use of a series of digital tools, including the occasional deployment of machine learning, to aid in the performance of a variety of governmental functions. In this paper, we canvas the current uses of such digital tools and machine-learning technologies by the judiciary and administrative agencies in the United States. Although we have yet to see fully automated decision-making find its way into either adjudication ...


The Deregulation Deception, Cary Coglianese, Natasha Sarin, Stuart Shapiro Jun 2021

The Deregulation Deception, Cary Coglianese, Natasha Sarin, Stuart Shapiro

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

President Donald Trump and members of his Administration repeatedly asserted that they had delivered substantial deregulation that fueled positive trends in the U.S. economy prior to the COVID pandemic. Drawing on an original analysis of data on federal regulation from across the Trump Administration’s four years, we show that the Trump Administration actually accomplished much less by way of deregulation than it repeatedly claimed—and much less than many commentators and scholars have believed. In addition, and also contrary to the Administration’s claims, overall economic trends in the pre-pandemic Trump years tended simply to follow economic trends ...


Administrative Law In The Automated State, Cary Coglianese Apr 2021

Administrative Law In The Automated State, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In the future, administrative agencies will rely increasingly on digital automation powered by machine learning algorithms. Can U.S. administrative law accommodate such a future? Not only might a highly automated state readily meet longstanding administrative law principles, but the responsible use of machine learning algorithms might perform even better than the status quo in terms of fulfilling administrative law’s core values of expert decision-making and democratic accountability. Algorithmic governance clearly promises more accurate, data-driven decisions. Moreover, due to their mathematical properties, algorithms might well prove to be more faithful agents of democratic institutions. Yet even if an automated ...


Unrules, Cary Coglianese, Gabriel Scheffler, Daniel Walters Apr 2021

Unrules, Cary Coglianese, Gabriel Scheffler, Daniel Walters

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

At the center of contemporary debates over public law lies administrative agencies’ discretion to impose rules. Yet, for every one of these rules, there are also unrules nearby. Often overlooked and sometimes barely visible, unrules are the decisions that regulators make to lift or limit the scope of a regulatory obligation, for instance through waivers, exemptions, and exceptions. In some cases, unrules enable regulators to reduce burdens on regulated entities or to conserve valuable government resources in ways that make law more efficient. However, too much discretion to create unrules can facilitate undue business influence over the law, weaken regulatory ...


The Challenge Of Regulatory Excellence, Cary Coglianese Jun 2020

The Challenge Of Regulatory Excellence, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Regulation is a high-stakes enterprise marked by tremendous challenges and relentless public pressure. Regulators are expected to protect the public from harms associated with economic activity and technological change without unduly impeding economic growth or efficiency. Regulators today also face new demands, such as adapting to rapidly changing and complex financial instruments, the emergence of the sharing economy, and the potential hazards of synthetic biology and other innovations. Faced with these challenges, regulators need a lodestar for what constitutes high-quality regulation and guidance on how to improve their organizations’ performance. In the book Achieving Regulatory Excellence, leading regulatory experts across ...


Solving The Congressional Review Act’S Conundrum, Cary Coglianese Mar 2020

Solving The Congressional Review Act’S Conundrum, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Congress routinely enacts statutes mandating that federal agencies adopt specific regulations. For example, when Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010, it required the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to adopt a regulation compelling energy companies to disclose payments they make to governmental entities. Although this disclosure regulation is specifically required by the Dodd-Frank Act, it is also a regulation subject to disapproval by Congress under a process outlined in a separate statute known as the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

In 2017, Congress passed a joint resolution disapproving the SEC’s disclosure rule under ...


Regulation Of Algorithmic Tools In The United States, Christopher S. Yoo, Alicia Lai Jan 2020

Regulation Of Algorithmic Tools In The United States, Christopher S. Yoo, Alicia Lai

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Policymakers in the United States have just begun to address regulation of artificial intelligence technologies in recent years, gaining momentum through calls for additional research funding, piece-meal guidance, proposals, and legislation at all levels of government. This Article provides an overview of high-level federal initiatives for general artificial intelligence (AI) applications set forth by the U.S. president and responding agencies, early indications from the incoming Biden Administration, targeted federal initiatives for sector-specific AI applications, pending federal legislative proposals, and state and local initiatives. The regulation of the algorithmic ecosystem will continue to evolve as the United States continues to ...


Illuminating Regulatory Guidance, Cary Coglianese Jan 2020

Illuminating Regulatory Guidance, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


Management-Based Regulation, Cary Coglianese, Shana M. Starobin Jan 2020

Management-Based Regulation, Cary Coglianese, Shana M. Starobin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Environmental regulators have embraced management-based regulation as a flexible instrument for addressing a range of important problems often poorly addressed by other types of regulations. Under management-based regulation, regulated firms must engage in management-related activities oriented toward addressing targeted problems—such as planning and analysis to mitigate risk and the implementation of internal management systems geared towards continuous improvement. In contrast with more restrictive forms of regulation which can impose one-size-fits-all solutions, management-based regulation offers firms greater operational choice about how to solve regulatory problems, leveraging firms’ internal informational advantage to innovate and search for alternative measures to achieve the ...


Litigating Epa Rules: A Fifty-Year Retrospective Of Environmental Rulemaking In The Courts, Cary Coglianese, Daniel E. Walters Jan 2020

Litigating Epa Rules: A Fifty-Year Retrospective Of Environmental Rulemaking In The Courts, Cary Coglianese, Daniel E. Walters

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Over the last fifty years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found itself repeatedly defending its regulations before federal judges. The agency’s engagement with the federal judiciary has resulted in prominent Supreme Court decisions, such as Chevron v. NRDC and Massachusetts v. EPA, which have left a lasting imprint on federal administrative law. Such prominent litigation has also fostered, for many observers, a longstanding impression of an agency besieged by litigation. In particular, many lawyers and scholars have long believed that unhappy businesses or environmental groups challenge nearly every EPA rule in court. Although some empirical studies ...


Dimensions Of Delegation, Cary Coglianese Nov 2019

Dimensions Of Delegation, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

How can the nondelegation doctrine still exist when the Supreme Court over decades has approved so many pieces of legislation that contain unintelligible principles? The answer to this puzzle emerges from recognition that the intelligibility of any principle dictating the basis for lawmaking is but one characteristic defining that authority. The Court has acknowledged five other characteristics that, taken together with the principle articulating the basis for executive decision-making, constitute the full dimensionality of any grant of lawmaking authority and hold the key to a more coherent rendering of the Court’s application of the nondelegation doctrine. When understood in ...


Our Administered Constitution: Administrative Constitutionalism From The Founding To The Present, Sophia Z. Lee Jun 2019

Our Administered Constitution: Administrative Constitutionalism From The Founding To The Present, Sophia Z. Lee

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article argues that administrative agencies have been primary interpreters and implementers of the federal Constitution throughout the history of the United States, although the scale and scope of this "administrative constitutionalism" has changed significantly over time as the balance of opportunities and constraints has shifted. Courts have nonetheless cast an increasingly long shadow over the administered Constitution. In part, this is because of the well-known expansion of judicial review in the 20th century. But the shift has as much to do with changes in the legal profession, legal theory, and lawyers’ roles in agency administration. The result is that ...


Occupational Licensing And The Limits Of Public Choice Theory, Gabriel Scheffler, Ryan Nunn Apr 2019

Occupational Licensing And The Limits Of Public Choice Theory, Gabriel Scheffler, Ryan Nunn

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Public choice theory has long been the dominant lens through which economists and other scholars have viewed occupational licensing. According to the public choice account, practitioners favor licensing because they want to reduce competition and drive up their own wages. This essay argues that the public choice account has been overstated, and that it ironically has served to distract from some of the most important harms of licensing, as well as from potential solutions. We emphasize three specific drawbacks of this account. First, it is more dismissive of legitimate threats to public health and safety than the research warrants. Second ...


Making Sustainability Disclosure Sustainable, Jill E. Fisch Apr 2019

Making Sustainability Disclosure Sustainable, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Sustainability is receiving increasing attention from issuers, investors and regulators. The desire to understand issuer sustainability practices and their relationship to economic performance has resulted in a proliferation of sustainability disclosure regimes and standards. The range of approaches to disclosure, however, limit the comparability and reliability of the information disclosed. The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has solicited comment on whether to require expanded sustainability disclosures in issuer’s periodic financial reporting, and investors have communicated broad-based support for such expanded disclosures, but, to date, the SEC has not required general sustainability disclosure.

This Article argues that claims about the relationship ...


The Semi-Autonomous Administrative State, Cary Coglianese Jan 2019

The Semi-Autonomous Administrative State, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Conflicting views about presidential control of the administrative state have too long been characterized in terms of a debate over agency independence. But the term “independent” when used to describe administrative agencies carries with it the baggage of an unhelpful and unrealistic dichotomy: administrative agencies that are (or should be) subservient to presidential control versus those that are (or should be) entirely free from such influence. No agency fits into either category. This essay proposes reorienting the debate over presidential control around agency “autonomy,” which better conveys that the key issue is a matter of degree. Contrary to some proponents ...


Transparency And Algorithmic Governance, Cary Coglianese, David Lehr Jan 2019

Transparency And Algorithmic Governance, Cary Coglianese, David Lehr

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Machine-learning algorithms are improving and automating important functions in medicine, transportation, and business. Government officials have also started to take notice of the accuracy and speed that such algorithms provide, increasingly relying on them to aid with consequential public-sector functions, including tax administration, regulatory oversight, and benefits administration. Despite machine-learning algorithms’ superior predictive power over conventional analytic tools, algorithmic forecasts are difficult to understand and explain. Machine learning’s “black-box” nature has thus raised concern: Can algorithmic governance be squared with legal principles of governmental transparency? We analyze this question and conclude that machine-learning algorithms’ relative inscrutability does not pose ...


The Operational And Administrative Militaries, Mark P. Nevitt Jan 2019

The Operational And Administrative Militaries, Mark P. Nevitt

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article offers a new way of thinking about the military. The U.S. military’s existing legal architecture arose from tragedy: in response to operational military failures in Vietnam, the 1980 failed Iranian hostage rescue attempt and other military misadventures, Congress revamped the Department of Defense (DoD)’s organization. The resulting law, the Goldwater-Nichols Act, formed two militaries within the DoD that endure to this day. These two militaries – the operational military and the administrative military – were once opaque to the outside observer but have emerged from the shadows in light of recent conflicts. The operational military remains the ...


Private Standards And The Benzene Case: A Teaching Guide, Cary Coglianese, Gabriel Scheffler Jan 2019

Private Standards And The Benzene Case: A Teaching Guide, Cary Coglianese, Gabriel Scheffler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Private standards play a central role in the governance of economic activity. They also figure significantly in many public regulations, with more than 17,000 references to private standards contained in the federal regulatory code. Nevertheless, private standards remain largely overlooked in law school curricula. One clear example is Industrial Union Department, AFL-CIO v. American Petroleum Institute (often referred to as the “Benzene Case”), a 1980 Supreme Court decision that is widely excerpted and discussed in major casebooks on administrative law, regulation, environmental law, and statutory interpretation. The Benzene Case raises several important legal issues, including the nondelegation doctrine, the ...


The Self-Delegation False Alarm: Analyzing Auer Deference's Effect On Agency Rules, Daniel E. Walters Jan 2019

The Self-Delegation False Alarm: Analyzing Auer Deference's Effect On Agency Rules, Daniel E. Walters

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Auer deference holds that reviewing courts should defer to agencies when the latter interpret their own preexisting regulations. This doctrine relieves pressure on agencies to undergo costly notice-and-comment rulemaking each time interpretation of existing regulations is necessary. But according to some leading scholars and jurists, the doctrine actually encourages agencies to promulgate vague rules in the first instance, augmenting agency power and violating core separation of powers norms in the process. The claim that Auer perversely encourages agencies to “self-delegate”—that is, to create vague rules that can later be informally interpreted by agencies with latitude due to judicial deference ...


Unlocking Access To Health Care: A Federalist Approach To Reforming Occupational Licensing, Gabriel Scheffler Jan 2019

Unlocking Access To Health Care: A Federalist Approach To Reforming Occupational Licensing, Gabriel Scheffler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Several features of the existing occupational licensing system impede access to health care without providing appreciable protections for patients. Licensing restrictions prevent health care providers from offering services to the full extent of their competency, obstruct the adoption of telehealth, and deter foreign-trained providers from practicing in the United States. Scholars and policymakers have proposed a number of reforms to this system over the years, but these proposals have had a limited impact for political and institutional reasons.

Still, there are grounds for optimism. In recent years, the federal government has taken a range of initial steps to reform licensing ...


Bankruptcy For Banks: A Tribute (And Little Plea) To Jay Westbrook, David A. Skeel Jr. Oct 2018

Bankruptcy For Banks: A Tribute (And Little Plea) To Jay Westbrook, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this brief essay, to be included in a book celebrating the work of Jay Westbrook, I begin by surveying Jay’s wide-ranging contributions to bankruptcy scholarship. Jay’s functional analysis has had a profound effect on scholars’ understanding of key issues in domestic bankruptcy law, and Jay has been the leading scholarly figure on cross-border insolvency. After surveying Jay’s influence, I turn to the topic at hand: a proposed reform that would facilitate the use of bankruptcy to resolve the financial distress of large financial institutions. Jay has been a strong critic of this legislation, arguing that financial ...


Capturing Regulatory Agendas?: An Empirical Study Of Industry Use Of Rulemaking Petitions, Daniel E. Walters Mar 2018

Capturing Regulatory Agendas?: An Empirical Study Of Industry Use Of Rulemaking Petitions, Daniel E. Walters

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A great deal of skepticism toward administrative agencies stems from the widespread perception that they excessively or even exclusively cater to business interests. From the political right comes the accusation that business interests use regulation to erect barriers to entry that protect profits and stifle competition. From the political left comes the claim that business interests use secretive interactions with agencies to erode and negate beneficial regulatory programs. Regulatory “capture” theory elevates many of these claims to the status of economic law. Despite growing skepticism about capture theory in academic circles, empirical studies of business influence and capture return ambiguous ...


Improving Regulatory Analysis At Independent Agencies, Cary Coglianese Jan 2018

Improving Regulatory Analysis At Independent Agencies, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Each year, independent regulatory agencies—such as the Federal Communications Commission, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Securities and Exchange Commission—issue highly consequential regulations. When they issue their regulations, however, they do not have to meet the same requirements for analysis that apply to other agencies. Consequently, courts, policymakers, and scholars have voiced serious reservations about a general lack of high-quality prospective analysis of new regulations at independent agencies. These agencies’ track records with retrospective analysis of their existing regulations raise similar concerns. In this article, I approach the quality of regulatory analysis at independent agencies as a policy problem, assessing ...


Common Carriage’S Domain, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2018

Common Carriage’S Domain, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The judicial decision invalidating the Federal Communications Commission's first Open Internet Order has led advocates to embrace common carriage as the legal basis for network neutrality. In so doing, network neutrality proponents have overlooked the academic literature on common carriage as well as lessons from its implementation history. This Essay distills these learnings into five factors that play a key role in promoting common carriage's success: (1) commodity products, (2) simple interfaces, (3) stability and uniformity in the transmission technology, (4) full deployment of the transmission network, and (5) stable demand and market shares. Applying this framework to ...


What Congress's Repeal Efforts Can Teach Us About Regulatory Reform, Cary Coglianese, Gabriel Scheffler Dec 2017

What Congress's Repeal Efforts Can Teach Us About Regulatory Reform, Cary Coglianese, Gabriel Scheffler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Major legislative actions during the early part of the 115th Congress have undermined the central argument for regulatory reform measures such as the REINS Act, a bill that would require congressional approval of all new major regulations. Proponents of the REINS Act argue that it would make the federal regulatory system more democratic by shifting responsibility for regulatory decisions away from unelected bureaucrats and toward the people’s representatives in Congress. But separate legislative actions in the opening of the 115th Congress only call this argument into question. Congress’s most significant initiatives during this period — its derailed attempts to ...


The Limits Of Performance-Based Regulation, Cary Coglianese Apr 2017

The Limits Of Performance-Based Regulation, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Performance-based regulation is widely heralded as a superior approach to regulation. Rather than specifying the actions regulated entities must take, performance-based regulation instead requires the attainment of outcomes and gives flexibility in how to meet them. Despite nearly universal acclaim for performance-based regulation, the reasons supporting its use remain largely theoretical and conjectural. Owing in part to a lack of a clear conceptual taxonomy, researchers have yet to produce much empirical research documenting the strengths and weaknesses of performance-based regulation. In this Article, I provide a much-needed conceptual framework for understanding and assessing performance-based regulation. After defining performance-based regulation and ...


From The History To The Theory Of Administrative Constitutionalism, Sophia Z. Lee Jan 2017

From The History To The Theory Of Administrative Constitutionalism, Sophia Z. Lee

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Legal scholars and historians have shown growing interest in how agencies interpret and implement the Constitution, what is called “administrative constitutionalism.” The points of contact between the history and theory of administrative constitutionalism are sufficiently extensive to merit systematic analysis. This chapter focuses on what history can offer the theory of administrative constitutionalism. It argues that historical accounts of administrative constitutionalism invite a more robust normative defense of the practice than theorists have thus far provided. There is much to the transparent, participatory versions of administrative constitutionalism that its defenders have primarily focused on thus far. This chapter is a ...


From Treaties To International Commitments: The Changing Landscape Of Foreign Relations Law, Jean Galbraith Jan 2017

From Treaties To International Commitments: The Changing Landscape Of Foreign Relations Law, Jean Galbraith

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Sometimes the United States makes international commitments in the manner set forth in the Treaty Clause. But far more often it uses congressional-executive agreements, sole executive agreements, and soft law commitments. Foreign relations law scholars typically approach these other processes from the perspective of constitutional law, seeking to determine the extent to which they are constitutionally permissible. In contrast, this Article situates the myriad ways in which the United States enters into international commitments as the product not only of constitutional law, but also of international law and administrative law. Drawing on all three strands of law provides a rich ...


The Law Of The Test: Performance-Based Regulation And Diesel Emissions Control, Cary Coglianese, Jennifer Nash Jan 2017

The Law Of The Test: Performance-Based Regulation And Diesel Emissions Control, Cary Coglianese, Jennifer Nash

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal of 2015 not only pushed that company’s stock and retail sales into freefall, but also raised serious questions about the efficacy of existing regulatory controls. The same furtive actions taken by Volkswagen had been taken nearly twenty years earlier by other firms in the diesel industry. In that previous scandal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered that diesel truck engine manufacturers had, like Volkswagen would later do, programmed on-board computers to calibrate their engines one way to satisfy the required emissions test. Those manufacturers had also programmed the on-board computers to re-calibrate ...