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Full-Text Articles in Law

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 "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 ...


Deference And Democracy, Lisa Schultz Bressman Jan 2007

Deference And Democracy, Lisa Schultz Bressman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In "Chevron, U.S.A. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.", the Supreme Court famously held that judicial deference to agency interpretations of ambiguous statutes is appropriate largely because the executive branch is politically accountable for those policy choices. In recent cases, the Court has not displayed unwavering commitment to this decision or its principle of political accountability. This Article explores "Gonzales v. Oregon" as well as an earlier case, "FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp.", in which the administrations possessed strong claims of accountability yet the Court did not defer to the agency determinations. In both, the Court justified ...


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 ...


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 ...


The Private Life Of Public Law, Michael P. Vandenbergh Jan 2005

The Private Life Of Public Law, Michael P. Vandenbergh

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article proposes a new conception of the administrative regulatory state that accounts for the vast networks of private agreements that shadow public regulations. The traditional account of the administrative state assigns a limited role to private actors: private firms and interest groups seek to influence regulations, and after the regulations are finalized, regulated firms face a comply-or-defy decision. In recent years, scholars have noted that private actors play an increasing role in the traditional government standard setting, implementation and enforcement functions. This Article demonstrates that the private role in each of these regulatory functions is far greater than others ...


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 ...


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 ...


Disciplining Delegation After "Whitman V. American Trucking Ass'ns", Lisa Schultz Bressman Jan 2002

Disciplining Delegation After "Whitman V. American Trucking Ass'ns", Lisa Schultz Bressman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The Supreme Court's recent reversal of the D.C. Circuit's decision in "Whitman v. American Trucking Ass'ns" brings to center stage the critical question for disciplining delegation of lawmaking authority to administrative agencies: Should courts use constitutional law or administrative law for requiring agencies to supply the standards that guide and limit their lawmaking discretion when Congress does not? Professor Bressman argues that "Ashwander v. TVA" provides a resolution. In Ashwander, Justice Brandeis directed courts to refrain from deciding constitutional questions unless absolutely necessary to decide a particular case. Following Justice Brandeis' now famous teaching, courts should ...


Schechter Poultry At The Millennium: A Delegation Doctrine For The Administrative State, Lisa Schultz Bressman Jan 2000

Schechter Poultry At The Millennium: A Delegation Doctrine For The Administrative State, Lisa Schultz Bressman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The new delegation doctrine might seem perplexing to both sides of the current delegation debate. Either it is too intrusive on administrative prerogatives or it is not nearly intrusive enough. The new delegation doctrine is difficult to comprehend only because it evinces a different focus. While the debate concentrates primarily on the legitimacy of lawmaking by administrative agencies, the new doctrine speaks more to the goal of promoting the legitimacy of law made by administrative agencies. It might even be fair to say that, in this regard, the new doctrine moves beyond the academic debate. Moreover, the new doctrine neither ...


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 ...