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Accountability And Independence In Financial Regulation: Checks And Balances, Public Engagement, And Other Innovations, Michael S. Barr Jan 2015

Accountability And Independence In Financial Regulation: Checks And Balances, Public Engagement, And Other Innovations, Michael S. Barr

Articles

Financial regulation attempts to balance two competing administrative goals. On the one hand, as with much of administrative law, accountability is a core goal. Accountability undergirds the democratic legitimacy of administrative agencies. On the other hand, unlike with much of administrative law, independence plays a critical role.' Independence helps to protect financial regulatory agencies from political interference and-with some important caveats-arguably helps to guard against some forms of industry capture. In addition, with respect to the Federal Reserve (the Fed), independence serves to improve the credibility of the Fed's price stability mandate by insulating its decisionmaking from politics and, in …


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 …


Essential Health Benefits And The Affordable Care Act: Law And Process, Nicholas Bagley, Helen Levy Jan 2014

Essential Health Benefits And The Affordable Care Act: Law And Process, Nicholas Bagley, Helen Levy

Articles

Starting in 2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will require private insurance plans sold in the individual and small-group markets to cover a roster of "essential health benefits." Precisely which benefits should count as essential, however, was left to the discretion of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The matter was both important and controversial. Nonetheless, HHS announced its policy by posting on the Internet a thirteen-page bulletin stating that it would allow each state to define essential benefits for itself. On both substance and procedure, the move was surprising. The state-by-state approach departed from the uniform, federal …


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.


The California Greenhouse Gas Waiver Decision And Agency Interpretation: A Response To Galle And Seidenfeld, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2008

The California Greenhouse Gas Waiver Decision And Agency Interpretation: A Response To Galle And Seidenfeld, Nina A. Mendelson

Articles

Professors Brian Galle and Mark Seidenfeld add some important strands to the debate on agency preemption, particularly in their detailed documentation of the potential advantages agencies may possess in deliberating on preemption compared with Congress and the courts. As they note, the quality of agency deliberation matters to two different debates. First, should an agency interpretation of statutory language to preempt state law receive Chevron deference in the courts, as other agency interpretations may, or should some lesser form of deference be given? Second, should a general statutory authorization to an agency to administer a program and to issue rules …


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 …


Global Administrative Law: The View From Basel, Michael S. Barr, Geoffrey P. Miller Jan 2006

Global Administrative Law: The View From Basel, Michael S. Barr, Geoffrey P. Miller

Articles

International law-making by sub-national actors and regulatory networks of bureaucrats has come under attack as lacking in accountability and legitimacy. Global administrative law is emerging as an approach to understanding what international organizations and national governments do, or ought to do, to respond to the perceived democracy deficit in international law-making. This article examines the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, a club of central bankers who meet to develop international banking capital standards and to develop supervisory guidance. The Basel Committee embodies many of the attributes that critics of international law-making lament. A closer examination, however, reveals a structure of …


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 …