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Regulation

University of Michigan Law School

Administrative Law

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Crisis-Driven Tax Law: The Case Of Section 382, Albert H. Choi, Quinn Curtis, Andrew T. Hayashi Jan 2019

Crisis-Driven Tax Law: The Case Of Section 382, Albert H. Choi, Quinn Curtis, Andrew T. Hayashi

Articles

At the peak of the 2008 financial crisis, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2008–83 (the Notice), administrative guidance that limited Internal Revenue Code (the Code) section 382, an important tax rule designed to discourage tax-motivated acquisitions. Although styled as a mere interpretation of existing law, the Notice has been widely viewed as an improper exercise of the IRS’s authority that undermined its legitimacy. But did the Notice work? There were many extraordinary interventions during the financial crisis that raised questions about eroding the rule of law and the long-term destabilizing effects of bail­outs. In a ...


Reform At Risk — Mandating Participation In Alternative Payment Plans, Scott Levy, Nicholas Bagley, Rahul Rajkumar May 2018

Reform At Risk — Mandating Participation In Alternative Payment Plans, Scott Levy, Nicholas Bagley, Rahul Rajkumar

Articles

In an ambitious effort to slow the growth of health care costs, the Affordable Care Act created the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) and armed it with broad authority to test new approaches to reimbursement for health care (payment models) and delivery-system reforms. CMMI was meant to be the government’s innovation laboratory for health care: an entity with the independence to break with past practices and the power to experiment with bold new approaches. Over the past year, however, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has quietly hobbled CMMI, imperiling its ability to generate meaningful ...


High‐Frequency Trading And The New Stock Market: Sense And Nonsense, Merritt B. Fox, Lawrence R. Glosten, Gabriel V. Rauterberg Feb 2018

High‐Frequency Trading And The New Stock Market: Sense And Nonsense, Merritt B. Fox, Lawrence R. Glosten, Gabriel V. Rauterberg

Articles

The stock market has been transformed during the last 25 years. Human suppliers of liquidity like the NASDAQ dealers and NYSE specialists have been replaced by algorithmic market making; stocks that once traded on a single venue now trade across twelve exchanges and a multitude of alternative trading systems. New venues like dark pools, and new participants like high‐frequency traders, have emerged to take on prominent roles. This new market has had more than its share of controversy and regulatory scrutiny, particularly in the wake of Michael Lewis’s bestseller Flash Boys. In this article, the authors analyze five ...


Stock Market Futurism, Merritt Fox, Gabriel Rauterberg Jul 2017

Stock Market Futurism, Merritt Fox, Gabriel Rauterberg

Articles

The U.S. stock market is undergoing extraordinary upheaval. The approval of the application of the Investors Exchange (IEX) to become the nation's newest stock exchange, including its famous "speed bump," was one of the SEC's most controversial decisions in decades. Other exchanges have proposed a raft of new innovations in its wake. This evolving equity market is a critical piece of national infrastructure, but the regulatory scheme for its institutions is increasingly frayed. In particular, current regulation draws sharp distinctions among different kinds of markets for trading stocks, treating stock exchanges as self-regulatory organizations immune from private ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 was commonly ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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.


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 ...


Two Masters, Carl E. Schneider Jan 2010

Two Masters, Carl E. Schneider

Articles

American government rests on the principle of distrust of government. Not only is power within the federal government checked and balanced. Power is divided between the federal government and the state governments. So what if a state law conflicts with a federal law? The Constitution says that the "Constitution, and the Laws of the United States ... shall be the supreme Law of the Land; ... any Thing in the ... Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding." Sometimes the conflict between federal and state law is obvious and the Supremacy Clause is easily applied. But sometimes ...


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 ...


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 ...


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.


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 ...


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 Irrational Auditor And Irrational Liability, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2006

The Irrational Auditor And Irrational Liability, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

This Article argues that less liability for auditors in certain areas might encourage more accurate and useful financial statements, or at least equally accurate statements at a lower cost. Audit quality is promoted by three incentives: reputation, regulation, and litigation. When we take reputation and regulation into account, exposing auditors to potentially massive liability may undermine the effectiveness of reputation and regulation, thereby diminishing integrity of audited financial statements. The relation of litigation to the other incentives that promote audit quality has become more important in light of the sea change that occurred in the regulation of the auditing profession ...


Learning The Value Of Drugs - Is Rofecoxib A Regulatory Success Story?, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2005

Learning The Value Of Drugs - Is Rofecoxib A Regulatory Success Story?, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

Controversy over recent revelations concerning the adverse cardiovascular effects of selective cyclooxygenase- 2 (COX-2) inhibitors has generally been framed as a story of regulatory failure, in which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has failed in its mission to protect the public from unsafe products. But this simplistic understanding of the mission of the FDA seems to make failure all but inevitable, if the reliable observation of the risks and benefits of a drug requires rigorous long-term studies. Perhaps in an earlier era the goal of drug regulation was simply to protect the public from poisons. Today, drug regulation guides ...


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 ...


The Problem Of New Uses, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2005

The Problem Of New Uses, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

Discovering new uses for drugs that are already on the market seems like it ought to be the low-lying fruit of biopharmaceutical research and development (R&D). Firms have already made significant investments in developing these drugs and bringing them to market, including testing them in clinical trials, shepherding them through the FDA regulatory approval process, building production facilities, and training sales staff to market them to physicians. By this point, the drugs have begun to enjoy goodwill among patients and physicians and casual observations in the course of clinical experience may point to potential new uses. One might expect ...