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Full-Text Articles in Law

Chevron Is A Phoenix, Lisa Schultz Bressman, Kevin M. Stack Mar 2021

Chevron Is A Phoenix, Lisa Schultz Bressman, Kevin M. Stack

Vanderbilt Law Review

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 ...


Cutting Class Action Agency Costs: Lessons From The Public Company, Amanda M. Rose Jan 2020

Cutting Class Action Agency Costs: Lessons From The Public Company, Amanda M. Rose

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The agency relationship between class counsel and class members in Rule 23(b)(3) class actions is similar to that between executives and shareholders in U.S. public companies. This similarity has often been noted in class action literature, but until this Article no attempt has been made to systematically compare the approaches taken in these two settings to reduce agency costs. Class action scholars have downplayed the importance of the public company analogy because public companies are subject to market discipline and class actions are not. But this is precisely why the analogy is useful: because public companies are ...


The Law And Practice Of Shareholder Inspection Rights: A Comparative Analysis Of China And The United States, Randall S. Thomas, Robin Hui Huang Jan 2020

The Law And Practice Of Shareholder Inspection Rights: A Comparative Analysis Of China And The United States, Randall S. Thomas, Robin Hui Huang

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Shareholder inspection rights allow a shareholder to access the relevant documents of the company in which they hold an interest, so as to address the problem of information asymmetry and reduce the agency costs inherent in the corporate structure. While Chinese corporate governance and American corporate governance face different sets of agency cost problems, this Article shows that shareholder inspection rights play an important role in both China and the United States. On the books, while shareholder inspection rights in both countries are broadly similar, there are some important differences on issues such as the proper purpose requirement. The empirical ...


Agencies' Obligation To Interpret The Statute, Aaron Saiger Oct 2016

Agencies' Obligation To Interpret The Statute, Aaron Saiger

Vanderbilt Law Review

Conventionally, when a statute delegates authority to an agency, courts defer to agency interpretations of that statute. Most agencies and scholars view such deference as a grant of permission to the agency to adopt any reasonable interpretation. That is wrong, jurisprudentially and ethically. An agency that commands deference bears a duty to adopt what it believes to be the best interpretation of the relevant statute. Deference assigns to the agency, rather than to a court, power authoritatively to declare what the law is. That power carries with it a duty to give the statute the best reading the agency can ...


States, Agencies, And Legitimacy, Miriam Seifter Mar 2014

States, Agencies, And Legitimacy, Miriam Seifter

Vanderbilt Law Review

Scholarship on the administrative process has scarcely attended to the role that states play in federal regulation. This Article argues that it is time for that to change. An emerging, important new strand of federalism scholarship, known as "administrative federalism," now seeks to safeguard state interests in the administrative process and argues that federal agencies should consider state input when developing regulations. These ideas appear to be gaining traction in practice. States now possess privileged access to agency decisionmaking processes through a variety of formal and informal channels. And some courts have signaled support for the idea of a special ...


Multiple-Agency Delegations & One-Agency Chevron, William Weaver Jan 2014

Multiple-Agency Delegations & One-Agency Chevron, William Weaver

Vanderbilt Law Review

Congress frequently delegates to agencies, and a host of Supreme Court decisions have articulated tests for determining what level of deference courts should give to agency interpretations of their statutory directives. Courts have historically undertaken these analyses in the context of a single agency. Congressional authorization of joint rulemaking authority is more complicated, however, and the traditional frameworks for review are inadequate.

When Congress delegates authority to multiple agencies, courts should review the agencies' rules with heightened deference. The traditional framework for judicial review of agency rules is ill equipped when rules are promulgated by multiple coordinated agencies. The prevalence ...


Free Agents: Should Crowdsourcing Lead To Agency Liability For Firms?, Erin R. Frankrone Jan 2013

Free Agents: Should Crowdsourcing Lead To Agency Liability For Firms?, Erin R. Frankrone

Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

Crowdsourcing has emerged as a new production paradigm through which firms outsource traditional employee tasks to an undefined and generally large network of people, the "crowd," in the form of an open call. The relationships between the crowd and the firm vary across different crowdsourcing models and do not represent, either in fact or in theory, the employment or contractor relationships with which the law is familiar. Therefore, the law and the courts are ill-equipped to answer the questions of whether and how liability should attach to firms for the crowd's harmful conduct toward third parties. Agency law is ...


Does Agency Funding Affect Decisionmaking?: An Empirical Assessment Of The Pto, Michael D. Frakes, Melissa F. Wasserman Jan 2013

Does Agency Funding Affect Decisionmaking?: An Empirical Assessment Of The Pto, Michael D. Frakes, Melissa F. Wasserman

Vanderbilt Law Review

This Article undertakes the first attempt to causally investigate the influence of funding on the United States Patent and Trademark Office's ("PTO") decisionmaking. More specifically, this Article studies the influence of the PTO's budgetary structure on the most important decision made by the Agency: whether or not to grant a patent. It begins by setting forth a theoretical model predicting that certain elements of the PTO's fee schedule, such as issuance and maintenance fees, which are only collected in the event that patents issue, create incentives for the PTO to grant additional patents. Using a rich database ...


Common Agency And The Public Corporation, Paul Rose Oct 2010

Common Agency And The Public Corporation, Paul Rose

Vanderbilt Law Review

Under the standard agency theory applied to corporate governance, active monitoring of manager-agents by empowered shareholder-principals will reduce agency costs created by management shirking and expropriation of private benefits. But while shareholder power may result in reduced managerial expropriation, an analysis of how that power is often exercised in public corporation governance reveals that it can also produce significant costs: influential shareholders may extract private benefits from the corporation, incur and impose lobbying expenses, and pressure corporations to adopt inapt corporate governance structures. These costs strain the simple principal-agent model on which shareholder empowerment is based. This Article offers an ...


The Future Of Agency Independence, Lisa S. Bressman, Robert B. Thompson Apr 2010

The Future Of Agency Independence, Lisa S. Bressman, Robert B. Thompson

Vanderbilt Law Review

Independent agencies have long been viewed as different from executive-branch agencies because the President lacks authority to fire their leaders for political reasons, such as failure to follow administration policy. In this Article, we identify mechanisms that make independent agencies increasingly responsive to presidential preferences. We find these mechanisms in a context where independent agencies traditionally have dominated: financial policy. In legislative proposals for securing market stability, we point to statutorily mandated collaboration on policy between the Federal Reserve Board and the Secretary of the Treasury. In administration practices for improving securities regulation, we focus on White House coordination of ...


The Consequences Of Congress's Choice Of Delegate: Judicial And Agency Interpretations Of Title Vii, Margaret H. Lemos Mar 2010

The Consequences Of Congress's Choice Of Delegate: Judicial And Agency Interpretations Of Title Vii, Margaret H. Lemos

Vanderbilt Law Review

Although Congress delegates lawmaking authority to both courts and agencies, we know remarkably little about the determinants-and even less about the consequences-of the choice between judicial and administrative process. The few scholars who have sought to understand the choice of delegate have used formal modeling to illuminate various aspects of the decision from the perspective of the enacting Congress. That approach yields useful insight into the likely preferences of rational legislators, but tells us nothing about how (or whether) those preferences play out in the behavior of courts and agencies. Without such knowledge, we have no way of testing the ...


The Future Of Agency Independence, Lisa Schultz Bressman, Robert B. Thompson Jan 2010

The Future Of Agency Independence, Lisa Schultz Bressman, Robert B. Thompson

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Independent agencies have long been viewed as different from executive-branch agencies because the President lacks authority to fire their leaders for political reasons, such as failure to follow administration policy. In this Article, we identify mechanisms that make independent agencies increasingly responsive to presidential preferences. We find these mechanisms in a context where independent agencies traditionally have dominated: financial policy. In legislative proposals for securing market stability, we point to statutorily mandated collaboration on policy between the Federal Reserve Board and the Secretary of the Treasury. In administration practices for improving securities regulation, we focus on White House coordination of ...


The Ncaa Rules Adoption, Interpretation, Enforcement, And Infractions Processes: The Laws That Regulate Them And The Nature Of Court Review, Josephine (Jo) R. Potuto Jan 2010

The Ncaa Rules Adoption, Interpretation, Enforcement, And Infractions Processes: The Laws That Regulate Them And The Nature Of Court Review, Josephine (Jo) R. Potuto

Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

This article takes a comprehensive look at how the NCAA is organized, describes the NCAA committee structure, and explains how the NCAA in its multitude of roles does its work. The article focuses particularly on the NCAA by law interpretation process and the policies, procedures, and scope of authority of the enforcement, infractions, and student-athlete reinstatement processes. In its description of the division of responsibility among enforcement, infractions and student-athlete reinstatement, the article emphasizes the independence of each. The article then assesses the functions and structure of the NCAA in light of the preogatives of a private, multi-state association and ...


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 this ...


The Cautionary Tale Of The Failed 2002 Ftc/Doj Merger Clearance Accord, Lauren K. Peay May 2007

The Cautionary Tale Of The Failed 2002 Ftc/Doj Merger Clearance Accord, Lauren K. Peay

Vanderbilt Law Review

Antitrust law in the United States is the patchwork result of over two hundred years of evolving and often conflicting views of the government's proper role in regulating business. Depending upon the social and business climate of the era and the economic philosophies of Congress, the President, and the judiciary, federal antitrust jurisdiction has waxed and waned. The result is the current system wherein the Department of Justice Antitrust Division ("Antitrust Division") and the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") share dual jurisdiction to enforce the federal antitrust laws. However, in the push and pull of the changing eras, the intersection ...


Judicial Deference And The Credibility Of Agency Commitments, Jonathan Masur May 2007

Judicial Deference And The Credibility Of Agency Commitments, Jonathan Masur

Vanderbilt Law Review

Consider the following situation: In late 2004, towards the end of President George W. Bush's first term, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration ("NHTSA"), pursuant to its congressionally delegated authority, promulgates a rule that would relax inspection and testing regimes for automobile manufacturers- thereby saving those firms substantial amounts of money-if the manufacturers independently deployed cutting-edge vehicle safety technology. The research and development of this technology will require significant up-front expenditures, and automobile manufacturers must decide whether to invest the funds necessary to bring the technology to market. However, the cost-benefit analysis is not so straightforward. The predicament, as ...


Legitimacy, Selectivity, And The Disunitary Executive: A Reply To Sally Katzen, Lisa Schultz Bressman, Michael P. Vandenbergh Jan 2007

Legitimacy, Selectivity, And The Disunitary Executive: A Reply To Sally Katzen, Lisa Schultz Bressman, Michael P. Vandenbergh

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Professors Bressman and Vandenbergh respond to the comments of Sally Katzen on their article presenting and analyzing results from an empirical study of the top political appointees at the Enviromental Protection Agency (EPA) during the William Clinton and George H.W. Bush administrations. In their previous article, Professors Bressman and Vandenbergh examined White House involvement in EPA rulemaking during the relevant periods, concluding that it may be a more complex and less positive phenomenon than previous studies have acknowledged. In this reply, the authors reinforce why the EPA is an important agency to study for information about White House involvement ...


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 assist ...


The Allocation Problem In Multiple-Claimant Representations, Paul H. Edelman, Richard A. Nagareda, Charles Silver Jan 2006

The Allocation Problem In Multiple-Claimant Representations, Paul H. Edelman, Richard A. Nagareda, Charles Silver

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Multiple-claimant representations-classa ctions and other group lawsuits-pose two principal-agent problems: Shirking (failure to maximize the aggregate recovery) and misallocation (distribution of the aggregate recovery other than according to the relative value of claims). Clients have dealt with these problems separately, using contingent percentage fees to motivate lawyers to maximize the aggregate recovery and monitoring devices (disclosure requirements, client control rights, and third-party review) to encourage appropriate allocations. The scholarly literature has proceeded on the premise that monitoring devices are needed to police misallocations, because the fee calculus cannot do the entire job. This paper shows that this premise is mistaken ...


Inside The Administrative State: A Critical Look At The Practice Of Presidential Control, Lisa Schultz Bressman, Michael P. Vandenbergh Jan 2006

Inside The Administrative State: A Critical Look At The Practice Of Presidential Control, Lisa Schultz Bressman, Michael P. Vandenbergh

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

From the inception of the administrative state, scholars have proposed various models of agency decision-making to render such decision-making accountable and effective, only to see those models falter when confronted by actual practice. Until now, the presidential control model has been largely impervious to this pattern. That model, which brings agency decision-making under the direction of the President, has strengthened over time, winning broad scholarly endorsement and bipartisan political support. But it, like prior models, relies on abstractions - for example, that the President represents public preferences and resists parochial pressures - that do not hold up as a factual matter. Although ...


How "Mead" Has Muddled Judicial Review Of Agency Action, Lisa S. Bressman Oct 2005

How "Mead" Has Muddled Judicial Review Of Agency Action, Lisa S. Bressman

Vanderbilt Law Review

When the Supreme Court decided United States v. Mead Corp. four years ago, Justice Scalia predicted that judicial review of agency action would devolve into chaos. This Article puts that prediction to the test by examining the court of appeals decisions applying the decision. Justice Scalia actually understated the effect of Mead. This Article suggests a remedy for the mess.

In Mead, the Court held that an agency is entitled to deference under Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. NRDC only if Congress has delegated to that agency the authority to issue interpretations that carry the force of law, and ...


How "Mead" Has Muddled Judicial Review Of Agency Action, Lisa Schultz Bressman Jan 2005

How "Mead" Has Muddled Judicial Review Of Agency Action, Lisa Schultz Bressman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In "United States v. Mead Corp.", the Supreme Court held that an agency is entitled to Chevron deference for interpretations of ambiguous statutory provisions only if Congress delegates, and the agency exercises, authority to issue such interpretations with "the force of law." The Court did not define "force of law," and thus did not determine what type of agency procedures fit within Mead. Four years have passed since the Court decided Mead, and despite numerous Court of Appeals decisions, we still do not know when an agency is entitled to Chevron deference for interpretations issued through procedures less formal than ...


Judicial Review Of Agency Inaction: An Arbitrariness Approach, Lisa Schultz Bressman Jan 2004

Judicial Review Of Agency Inaction: An Arbitrariness Approach, Lisa Schultz Bressman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article contends that the current law governing judicial review of agency inaction, though consistent with the prevailing theory of agency legitimacy, is inconsistent with the founding principles of the administrative state. The Supreme Court's reluctance to allow judicial review of agency inaction reflects the popular view that agency decision-making should be subject foremost to the scrutiny of politically accountable officials. The difficulty is that even scholars who generally support this view of agency decision-making reject the Court's treatment of agency inaction. Yet these scholars have failed to appreciate the reason. The reason is that the founding principles ...


Rejecting The Myth Of Popular Sovereignty And Applying An Agency Model To Direct Democracy, Glen Staszewski Mar 2003

Rejecting The Myth Of Popular Sovereignty And Applying An Agency Model To Direct Democracy, Glen Staszewski

Vanderbilt Law Review

The use of direct democracy is at its highest level in more than one hundred years.' The direct initiative, which is the primary focus of this Article, allows private citizens to bypass the traditional legislative process and make binding laws, often in highly contentious areas of public policy. The 2000 elections, for example, placed directly before voters the issues of school vouchers, physician-assisted suicide, same- sex marriage and other gay and lesbian rights, gun control, campaign finance reform, bilingual education, gambling, medical use of marijuana, and sentencing for drug offenders, as well as some of the perennial favorites-tax reform and ...


Beyond Accountability, Lisa Schultz Bressman Jan 2003

Beyond Accountability, Lisa Schultz Bressman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article argues that efforts to square the administrative state with the constitutional structure have become too fixated on the concern for political accountability. As a result, those efforts have overlooked an important obstacle to agency legitimacy: the concern for administrative arbitrariness. Such thinking is evident in the prevailing model of the administrative state, which seeks to legitimate agencies by placing their policy decisions firmly under the control of the one elected official responsive to the entire nation-the President. This Article contends that the "presidential control" model cannot legitimate agencies because the model rests on a mistaken assumption about the ...


The False Promise Of The "New" Nondelegation Doctrine, Jim Rossi, Mark Seidenfeld Jan 2000

The False Promise Of The "New" Nondelegation Doctrine, Jim Rossi, Mark Seidenfeld

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This essay responds to claims that the "new" nondelegation doctrine, applied by D.C. Circuit Judge Stephen Williams in American Trucking Association, Inc. v. EPA, 175 F.3d 1027 (D.C. Cir. 1999), advances the rule of law. The Supreme Court has generally favored ex post over ex ante mechanisms for control of administrative action. Currently, for instance, courts apply arbitrary and capricious review, as a way to control agency decision making ex post. But the rule of law benefits of the "new" nondelegation doctrine are no greater than those delivered by the current means of ex post controls. The ...


The Changing Role Of Agents In Professional Basketball, Bappa Mukherji Jan 2000

The Changing Role Of Agents In Professional Basketball, Bappa Mukherji

Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

This Article will discuss the status of agents for NBA players after the adoption of the new collective bargaining agreement (the "1999 Agreement"). First, this Article will summarize the relevant provisions of the prior collective bargaining agreement (the "1996 Agreement") and illustrate how application of these provisions led the owners to declare a lockout. Next, it will review key provisions of the 1999 Agreement. It will conclude by discussing how the new CBA and the recent consolidation in the sports representation business will affect agents.


Monitoring Governmental Disposition Of Assets: Fashioning Regulatory Substitutes For Market Controls, Harold J. Krent, Nicholas S. Zeppos Nov 1999

Monitoring Governmental Disposition Of Assets: Fashioning Regulatory Substitutes For Market Controls, Harold J. Krent, Nicholas S. Zeppos

Vanderbilt Law Review

Each year, the government sells and leases public assets worth billions of dollars. FCC auctions to allocate rights to electromagnetic spectrum generated over twenty billion dollars within a three-year period, and proceeds from mineral leases, timber sales, and disposition of real estate from defaulting thrifts have surpassed several billion dollars annually.

From the taxpayer's perspective, however, government sales and leases have been deplorable. The government has donated valuable resources to preferred claimants, allocated scarce broadcast and oil rights resources by lottery, and sold both public land and mineral rights to private parties at a fraction of the market price ...


Alj Final Orders On Appeal: Balancing Independence With Accountability, Jim Rossi Jan 1999

Alj Final Orders On Appeal: Balancing Independence With Accountability, Jim Rossi

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This essay addresses how ALJ final order authority in many state systems of administrative governance (among them Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, and South Carolina) poses a tension between independence and accountability. It is argued that political accountability is sacrificed where reviewing courts defer to ALJ final orders on issues of law and policy. Standards of review provide state courts with a way of restoring the balance between independence and accountability, but reviewing courts should heighten the deference they give to the agency's legal and policy positions -- giving little or no deference to the ALJ on these issues -- even where the ...


The 1996 Revised Florida Administrative Procedure Act: A Survey Of Major Provisions Affecting Florida Agencies, Jim Rossi Jan 1997

The 1996 Revised Florida Administrative Procedure Act: A Survey Of Major Provisions Affecting Florida Agencies, Jim Rossi

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In the spring of 1996, the Florida Legislature adopted a revised Administrative Procedure Act (APA),' the first massive overhaul of Florida's APA since its initial adoption over twenty years ago, in 1974. This Article examines the recent history of APA reform in Florida and surveys several provisions of the 1996 revised Florida APA that are likely to have a major effect on agency governance. Part II of this Article briefly reviews the recent history of regulatory reform in the state of Florida. Part III discusses an interesting innovation in Florida's 1996 APA revisions that governs agency waiver of ...