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Legislation

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Separation of powers

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Petitioning And The Making Of The Administrative State, Maggie Blackhawk Jan 2018

Petitioning And The Making Of The Administrative State, Maggie Blackhawk

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The administrative state is suffering from a crisis of legitimacy. Many have questioned the legality of the myriad commissions, boards, and agencies through which much of our modern governance occurs. Scholars such as Jerry Mashaw, Theda Skocpol, and Michele Dauber, among others, have provided compelling institutional histories, illustrating that administrative lawmaking has roots in the early American republic. Others have attempted to assuage concerns through interpretive theory, arguing that the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 implicitly amended our Constitution. Solutions offered thus far, however, have yet to provide a deeper understanding of the meaning and function of the administrative state ...


What Congress's Repeal Efforts Can Teach Us About Regulatory Reform, Cary Coglianese, Gabriel Scheffler Dec 2017

What Congress's Repeal Efforts Can Teach Us About Regulatory Reform, Cary Coglianese, Gabriel Scheffler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Major legislative actions during the early part of the 115th Congress have undermined the central argument for regulatory reform measures such as the REINS Act, a bill that would require congressional approval of all new major regulations. Proponents of the REINS Act argue that it would make the federal regulatory system more democratic by shifting responsibility for regulatory decisions away from unelected bureaucrats and toward the people’s representatives in Congress. But separate legislative actions in the opening of the 115th Congress only call this argument into question. Congress’s most significant initiatives during this period — its derailed attempts to ...


Chevron's Interstitial Steps, Cary Coglianese Jan 2017

Chevron's Interstitial Steps, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Chevron doctrine’s apparent simplicity has long captivated judges, lawyers, and scholars. According to the standard formulation, Chevron involves just two straightforward steps: (1) Is a statute clear? (2) If not, is the agency’s interpretation of the statute reasonable? Despite the influence of this two-step framework, Chevron has come under fire in recent years. Some critics bemoan what they perceive as the Supreme Court’s incoherent application of the Chevron framework over time. Others argue that Chevron’s second step, which calls for courts to defer to reasonable agency interpretations of ambiguous statutory provisions, amounts to an abdication ...


Presidential Signing Statements: A New Perspective, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2016

Presidential Signing Statements: A New Perspective, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article offers a new perspective on Presidents’ use of signing statements. Following the dichotomy reflected in the literature, I will analyze signing statements raising constitutional objections and those offering interpretive guidance for ambiguous provisions separately. With respect to constitutional interpretation of statutes by the executive branch, Presidents have long asserted the authority and obligation to consider constitutionality when executing statutes. The widespread acceptance of the President’s power to construe statutes to avoid constitutional problems and to refuse to defend the constitutionality of or to enforce statutes in appropriate cases confirms the propriety of this conclusion. If these fairly ...


Federal Court Rulemaking And Litigation Reform: An Institutional Approach, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Jan 2015

Federal Court Rulemaking And Litigation Reform: An Institutional Approach, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The purpose of this article is to advance understanding of the role that federal court rulemaking has played in litigation reform. For that purpose, we created original data sets that include (1) information about every member of the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules who served from 1960 to 2013, and (2) every proposal for amending the Federal Rules that the Advisory Committee approved for consideration by the Standing Committee during the same period and that had implications for private enforcement. We show that, beginning in 1971, when a succession of Chief Justices appointed by Republican Presidents have chosen committee members ...


The Impact Of Codification On The Judicial Development Of Copyright, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2013

The Impact Of Codification On The Judicial Development Of Copyright, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Despite the Supreme Court’s rejection of common law copyright in Wheaton v. Peters and the more specific codification by the Copyright Act of 1976, courts have continued to play an active role in determining the scope of copyright. Four areas of continuing judicial innovation include fair use, misuse, third-party liability, and the first sale doctrine. Some commentators have advocated broad judicial power to revise and overturn statutes. Such sweeping judicial power is hard to reconcile with the democratic commitment to legislative supremacy. At the other extreme are those that view codification as completely displacing courts’ authority to develop legal ...


The Unitary Executive In The Modern Era, 1945–2004, Christopher S. Yoo, Steven G. Calabresi, Anthony J. Colangelo Jan 2005

The Unitary Executive In The Modern Era, 1945–2004, Christopher S. Yoo, Steven G. Calabresi, Anthony J. Colangelo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Since the impeachment of President Clinton, there has been renewed debate over whether Congress can create institutions such as special counsels and independent agencies that restrict the president's control over the administration of the law. Initially, debate centered on whether the Constitution rejected the "executive by committee" used by the Articles of Confederation in favor of a "unitary executive," in which all administrative authority is centralized in the president. More recently, the debate has focused on historical practices. Some scholars suggest that independent agencies and special counsels are such established features of the constitutional landscape that any argument in ...