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Remedial Restraint In Administrative Law, Nicholas Bagley Apr 2017

Remedial Restraint In Administrative Law, Nicholas Bagley

Articles

When a court determines that an agency action violates the Administrative Procedure Act, the conventional remedy is to invalidate the action and remand to the agency. Only rarely do the courts entertain the possibility of holding agency errors harmless. The courts’ strict approach to error holds some appeal: Better a hard rule that encourages procedural fastidiousness than a remedial standard that might tempt agencies to cut corners. But the benefits of this rule-bound approach are more elusive, and the costs much larger, than is commonly assumed. Across a wide range of cases, the reflexive invalidation of agency action appears wildly …


Cybersecurity Stovepiping, David Thaw Jan 2017

Cybersecurity Stovepiping, David Thaw

Articles

Most readers of this Article probably have encountered – and been frustrated by – password complexity requirements. Such requirements have become a mainstream part of contemporary culture: "the more complex your password is, the more secure you are, right?" So the cybersecurity experts tell us… and policymakers have accepted this "expertise" and even adopted such requirements into law and regulation.

This Article asks two questions. First, do complex passwords actually achieve the goals many experts claim? Does using the password "Tr0ub4dor&3" or the passphrase "correcthorsebatterystaple" actually protect your account? Second, if not, then why did such requirements become so widespread? …


Acus - And Administrative Law - Then And Now, Michael Herz Sep 2015

Acus - And Administrative Law - Then And Now, Michael Herz

Articles

The Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) both shapes and reflects the intellectual, policy, and practical concerns of the field of administrative law. Its recommendations are therefore a useful lens through which to view that field. Also, because of an unfortunate hiatus, ACUS has gotten underway not once but twice. Those two beginnings provide a kind of natural experiment, and they make a revealing contrast. This article traces the transformations of American administrative law, as well as the field’s perpetual concerns, by comparing the initial recommendations of ACUS 1.0 (1968 to 1970) with the initial recommendations of ACUS 2.0 …


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 …


The Uncertain Effects Of Senate Confirmation Delays In The Agencies, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2015

The Uncertain Effects Of Senate Confirmation Delays In The Agencies, Nina A. Mendelson

Articles

As Professor Anne O’Connell has effectively documented, the delay in Senate confirmations has resulted in many vacant offices in the most senior levels of agencies, with potentially harmful consequences to agency implementation of statutory programs. This symposium contribution considers some of those consequences, as well as whether confirmation delays could conceivably have benefits for agencies. I note that confirmation delays are focused in the middle layer of political appointments—at the assistant secretary level, rather than at the cabinet head—so that formal functions and political oversight are unlikely to be halted altogether. Further, regulatory policy making and even agenda setting can …


The Puzzling Presumption Of Reviewability, Nicholas Bagley Mar 2014

The Puzzling Presumption Of Reviewability, Nicholas Bagley

Articles

The presumption in favor of judicial review of agency action is a cornerstone of administrative law, accepted by courts and commentators alike as both legally appropriate and obviously desirable. Yet the presumption is puzzling. As with any canon of statutory construction that serves a substantive end, it should find a source in history, positive law, the Constitution, or sound policy considerations. None of these, however, offers a plausible justification for the presumption. As for history, the sort of judicial review that the presumption favors - appellate-style arbitrariness review - was not only unheard of prior to the twentieth century, but …


Responding To Agency Avoidance Of Oira, Nina A. Mendelson, Jonathan B. Wiener Jan 2014

Responding To Agency Avoidance Of Oira, Nina A. Mendelson, Jonathan B. Wiener

Articles

This Article proceeds as follows: Part I provides a background of the system of presidential oversight of regulation through OIRA review. Part II analyzes: (1) the incentives for agencies to cooperate with or avoid OIRA, (2) a broad array of agency avoidance tactics, and (3) corresponding response options (especially in a repeat-player relationship). Part III argues that response options to agency avoidance should not be unquestioningly pursued or rejected. Instead, they should be evaluated using many of the same principles OIRA employs in reviewing agency regulation, including a systematic consideration of the benefits and costs of particular response actions and …


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 …


Enforcement Without Foundation? Insider Trading And China's Administrative Law Crisis, Nicholas C. Howson Jan 2012

Enforcement Without Foundation? Insider Trading And China's Administrative Law Crisis, Nicholas C. Howson

Articles

China's securities regulator enforces insider trading prohibitions pursuant to non-legal and non-regulatory internal "guidance." Reported agency decisions indicate that enforcement against insider trading is often possible only pursuant to this guidance, as the behavior identified is far outside of the scope of insider trading liability provided for in statute or regulation. I argue that the agency guidance is itself unlawful and unenforceable, because: (i) the guidance is not the regulatory norm required by the statutory delegation of power; and (ii) the guidance is ultra vires because (a) it addresses something substantively different from what is authorized under the statutory delegation, …


Should Mass Comments Count?, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2012

Should Mass Comments Count?, Nina A. Mendelson

Articles

I am grateful to the Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law for the opportunity to reply to “Rulemaking vs. Democracy: Judging and Nudging Public Participation That Counts,” a terrific article by Professor Cynthia Farina, Mary Newhart, and Josiah Heidt of the Cornell eRulemaking Institute (“CeRI”). Farina, Newhart, and Heidt’s continuing commitment to structuring public engagement in e-rulemaking, both through scholarship and CeRI’s Regulation Room project, is one of the most hopeful signs for the future of that process. In their Article, the authors are concerned with agency treatment of large volumes of public comments in rulemaking, an increasingly common …


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 …


Another Word On The President's Statutory Authority Over Agency Action, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2011

Another Word On The President's Statutory Authority Over Agency Action, Nina A. Mendelson

Articles

In this short symposium contribution, I attempt first to add some further evidence on the interpretive question. That evidence weighs strongly, in my view, in favor of Kagan's conclusion that the terminology does not communicate any particular congressional intent regarding presidential directive authority. Assessed in context, the "whole code" textual analysis presented by Stack does not justify the conclusion that Congress, by delegating to an executive branch official, meant to limit presidential control. Independent agencies excluded, interpreting the terms of simple and presidential delegations to speak to directive authority fails, in general, to make sense of the various statutes. Absent …


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 …


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 …


A Presumption Against Agency Preemption, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2008

A Presumption Against Agency Preemption, Nina A. Mendelson

Articles

Federal agencies are increasingly taking aim at state law, even though state law is not expressly targeted by the statutes the agencies administer. Starting in 2001, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued several notices saying that state laws would apply to national bank operating subsidiaries (incorporated under state law) to the same extent as those laws applied to the parent national bank. In 2003, the OCC specifically mentioned state consumer protection laws and took the position that the state laws were preempted and did not apply to mortgage lenders owned by national banks. In December 2006, …


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 …


Nsf Fees, James J. White Jan 2007

Nsf Fees, James J. White

Articles

Overdraft fees now make up more than half of banks' earnings on consumer checking accounts. In the past century, overdrafts have gone from the banker's scourge to the banker's profit center as bankers have learned that there is much to be made on these short term loans at breathtaking interest rates. I note that the federal agencies have been complicit in the growth of this form of lending. I propose that the banks and the agencies recognize the reality and attempt to mitigate these rates by encouraging the development of a competitive market.


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 …


Guidance Documents And Regulatory Beneficiaries, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2006

Guidance Documents And Regulatory Beneficiaries, Nina A. Mendelson

Articles

Federal agencies rely heavily on guidance documents, and their volume is massive. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently catalogued over 2000 and 1600 such documents, respectively, issued between 1996 and 1999. These documents can range from routine matters, such as how employees should maintain correspondence files, to broad policies on program standards, implementation, and enforcement. Documents in the latter category include Education Department policies on Title IX implementation, Environmental Protection Agency policies on hazardous waste cleanup, the Food and Drug Administration's policies on food safety and broadcast advertising of pharmaceuticals, and many more.Although these …


Seeking Truth For Power: Informational Strategy And Regulatory Policymaking, Cary Coglianese, Richard Zeckhauser, Edward A. Parson Jan 2004

Seeking Truth For Power: Informational Strategy And Regulatory Policymaking, Cary Coglianese, Richard Zeckhauser, Edward A. Parson

Articles

Information is the lifeblood of regulatory policy. The effective use of governmental power depends on information about conditions in the world, strategies for improving those conditions, and the consequences associated with deploying different strategies. Indeed, this need for information has led legislatures to create specialized committee structures, delegate policy authority to expert agencies, and develop administrative procedures that encourage analysis. Although legal scholars have extensively debated procedures and reforms designed to improve the analytic and scientific basis of regulatory policymaking, they have paid relatively little attention to how regulators gain the information they need for making and implementing regulatory policy. …


Chevron And Preemption, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2004

Chevron And Preemption, Nina A. Mendelson

Articles

This Article takes a more functional approach to reconciling preemption doctrine with Chevron when Congress has not expressly delegated preemptive authority to an agency, an approach that considers a variety of concerns, including political accountability, institutional competence, and related concerns. The Article assumes that federalism values, such as ensuring core state regulatory authority and autonomy, are important and can be protected through political processes." It argues that although Congress's "regional structure" might hint at great sensitivity to state concerns, it actually may lead Congress to undervalue some federalism benefits that are more national in nature. Meanwhile, executive agencies generally have …


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 …


Authority And Responsibility: The Jurisprudence Of Deference, Joseph Vining Jan 1991

Authority And Responsibility: The Jurisprudence Of Deference, Joseph Vining

Articles

he connection between authority and responsibility is such that the one cannot be thought of without the other. In legal method, close reading and rereading of a text marks it as an authoritative text; the presupposition of mind which is necessary to close reading is presupposition of a responsible mind. In the working of institutions that embody authority, the disposition to follow the decisions and statements of a person responsible for a matter inevitably rests upon a presupposition that the decisions and statements followed are those of the responsible person. As that presupposition fades with bureaucratization of decision and writing, …


Direct Judicial Review And The Doctrine Of Ripeness In Administrative Law, Joseph Vining Aug 1971

Direct Judicial Review And The Doctrine Of Ripeness In Administrative Law, Joseph Vining

Articles

There has been recent interest in rationalizing and codifying the opportunities for judicial review of federal administrative determinations outside an enforcement context or special proceedings designated by statute. Abbott Laboratories v. Gardner culminated the development of a strong judicial presumption in favor of such review, founded in general considerations and justified by the broad language of the Administrative Procedure Act (AP A or Act). Since the petitioners in Abbott had theoretical rights to later review of the agency position in enforcement proceedings, the Court called the procedure "pre-enforcement" review. But similar opportunities for immediate and direct review of agency positions …