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Administrative Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Unrules, Cary Coglianese, Gabriel Scheffler, Daniel Walters Apr 2021

Unrules, Cary Coglianese, Gabriel Scheffler, Daniel Walters

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

At the center of contemporary debates over public law lies administrative agencies’ discretion to impose rules. Yet, for every one of these rules, there are also unrules nearby. Often overlooked and sometimes barely visible, unrules are the decisions that regulators make to lift or limit the scope of a regulatory obligation, for instance through waivers, exemptions, and exceptions. In some cases, unrules enable regulators to reduce burdens on regulated entities or to conserve valuable government resources in ways that make law more efficient. However, too much discretion to create unrules can facilitate undue business influence over the law, weaken regulatory ...


What People Want, What They Get, And The Administrative State, Cristie Ford Jan 2021

What People Want, What They Get, And The Administrative State, Cristie Ford

All Faculty Publications

Social perceptions of the state and of regulation are badly polarized right now. On one hand, the modern administrative state is under attack. Some modern populists criticize the modern state for being antidemocratic, unaccountable, even tyrannical. Paradoxically, others criticize it for very different reasons: because it is ineffective, or because it binds economies and societies up in “red tape”. On the other hand, the need for a modern, properly-resourced, effective administrative state is also clearer than ever. The financial crisis taught hard lessons about the limits of self-regulation and the need for public sector actors to safeguard the public interest ...


Due Process In Antitrust Enforcement: Normative And Comparative Perspectives, Christopher S. Yoo, Yong Huang, Thomas Fetzer, Shan Jiang Jan 2021

Due Process In Antitrust Enforcement: Normative And Comparative Perspectives, Christopher S. Yoo, Yong Huang, Thomas Fetzer, Shan Jiang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Due process in antitrust enforcement has significant implications for better professional and accurate enforcement decisions. Not only can due process spur economic growth, raise government credibility, and limit the abuse of powers according to law, it also promotes competitive reforms in monopolized sectors and curbs corruption. Jurisdictions learn from the best practices in the investigation process, decisionmaking process, and the announcement and judicial review of antitrust enforcement decisions. By comparing the enforcement policies of China, the European Union, and the United States, this article calls for better disclosure of evidence, participation of legal counsel, and protection of the procedural and ...


Re-Reading Chevron, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2021

Re-Reading Chevron, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

Though increasingly disfavored by the Supreme Court, Chevron remains central to administrative law doctrine. This Article suggests a way for the Court to reformulate the Chevron doctrine without overruling the Chevron decision. Through careful attention to the language of Chevron itself, the Court can honor the decision’s underlying value of harnessing comparative institutional advantage in judicial review, while setting aside a highly selective reading that unduly narrows judicial review. This re-reading would put the Chevron doctrine – and with it, an entire branch of administrative law – on firmer footing.


The Daca Decision: Department Of Homeland Security V. Regents Of The University Of California And Its Implications, Brian Wolfman Jan 2021

The Daca Decision: Department Of Homeland Security V. Regents Of The University Of California And Its Implications, Brian Wolfman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Trump Administration's effort to get rid of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, failed before the Supreme Court in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, 140 S. Ct. 1891, 1896 (2020). In this essay -- based on a presentation given to an American Bar Association section in September 2020 -- I review DACA, the Supreme Court's decision, and its potential legal implications.

The failure of the Trump Administration to eliminate DACA may have had significant political consequences, and it surely had immediate and momentous consequences for many of DACA’s hundreds of thousands ...


Chevron Abroad, Kent H. Barnett, Lindsey Vinson Jan 2020

Chevron Abroad, Kent H. Barnett, Lindsey Vinson

Scholarly Works

This Article presents our comparative findings of how courts in five other countries review agency statutory interpretation. These comparisons permit us to understand and participate better in current debates about the increasingly controversial Chevron doctrine in American law, whereby courts defer to reasonable agency interpretations of statutes that an agency administers. Those debates concern, among other things, Chevron 's purported inevitability, functioning and normative propriety. Our inquiry into judicial review in Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia provides useful and unexpected findings. Chevron, contrary to some scholars' views, is not inevitable because only one of these countries has ...


Neoclassical Administrative Law, Jeffrey Pojanowski Jan 2020

Neoclassical Administrative Law, Jeffrey Pojanowski

Journal Articles

This Article introduces an approach to administrative law that reconciles a more formalist, classical understanding of law and its supremacy with the contemporary administrative state. Courts adopting this approach, which I call “neoclassical administrative law,” are skeptical of judicial deference on questions of law, tend to give more leeway to agencies on questions of policy, and attend more closely to statutes governing administrative procedure than contemporary doctrine does. As a result, neoclassical administrative law finds a place for both legislative supremacy and the rule of law within the administrative state, without subordinating either of those central values to the other ...


Litigating Epa Rules: A Fifty-Year Retrospective Of Environmental Rulemaking In The Courts, Cary Coglianese, Daniel E. Walters Jan 2020

Litigating Epa Rules: A Fifty-Year Retrospective Of Environmental Rulemaking In The Courts, Cary Coglianese, Daniel E. Walters

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Over the last fifty years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found itself repeatedly defending its regulations before federal judges. The agency’s engagement with the federal judiciary has resulted in prominent Supreme Court decisions, such as Chevron v. NRDC and Massachusetts v. EPA, which have left a lasting imprint on federal administrative law. Such prominent litigation has also fostered, for many observers, a longstanding impression of an agency besieged by litigation. In particular, many lawyers and scholars have long believed that unhappy businesses or environmental groups challenge nearly every EPA rule in court. Although some empirical studies ...


Environmental Law, Jocelyn Stacey Jan 2020

Environmental Law, Jocelyn Stacey

All Faculty Publications

In commemoration of their 50th anniversary, this chapter examines the Federal Courts’ role in shaping environmental law in Canada. The chapter uses well-known environmental principles – the precautionary principle, sustainable development and access to (environmental) justice – as focal points for examining environmental law as well as the legal culture of the Federal Courts. The chapter identifies four distinct interpretive roles that the Federal Courts have ascribed to the precautionary principle and it argues that three of these roles have the potential to generate more coherent and transparent doctrine that upholds the rule of law in the environmental context. In contrast, chapter ...


Coordinating Injunctions, Bert I. Huang Jan 2020

Coordinating Injunctions, Bert I. Huang

Faculty Scholarship

Consider this scenario: Two judges with parallel cases are each ready to issue an injunction. But their injunctions may clash, ordering incompatible actions by the defendant. Each judge has written an opinion justifying her own intended relief, but the need to avoid conflicting injunctions presses her to make a further choice – “Should I issue the injunction or should I stay it for now?” Each must make this decision in anticipation of what the other will do.

This Article analyzes such a judicial coordination problem, drawing on recent examples including the DACA cases and the “sanctuary cities” cases. It then proposes ...


Rescinding Inclusion In The Administrative State: Adjudicating Daca, The Census, And The Military's Transgender Policy, Peter Margulies Nov 2019

Rescinding Inclusion In The Administrative State: Adjudicating Daca, The Census, And The Military's Transgender Policy, Peter Margulies

Law Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Disguised Patent Policymaking, Saurabh Vishnubhakat Oct 2019

Disguised Patent Policymaking, Saurabh Vishnubhakat

Faculty Scholarship

Patent Office power has grown immensely in this decade, and the agency is wielding its power in predictably troubling ways. Like other agencies, it injects politics into its decisions while relying on technocratic justifications. It also reads grants of authority expansively to aggrandize its power, especially to the detriment of judicial checks on agency action. However, this story of Patent Office ascendancy differs from that of other agencies in two important respects. One is that the U.S. patent system still remains primarily a means for allocating property rights, not a comprehensive regime of industrial regulation. Thus, the Patent Office ...


Due Process In International Antitrust Enforcement: An Idea Whose Time Has Come, Christopher S. Yoo Sep 2019

Due Process In International Antitrust Enforcement: An Idea Whose Time Has Come, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The past year has witnessed an upsurge of international interest in due process in antitrust enforcement, reflected in two new comparative studies and International Competition Network’s (ICN’s) May 2019 adoption of its Recommended Practices for Investigative Process and Framework for Competition Agency Procedures and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Competition Committee’s discussion of the Draft Recommendation on Transparency and Procedural Fairness in Competition Law Enforcement in June 2019. This article reviews those developments, traces key differences among them, and looks ahead to what comes next.


A Functional Approach To Judicial Review Of Ptab Rulings On Mixed Questions Of Law And Fact, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jul 2019

A Functional Approach To Judicial Review Of Ptab Rulings On Mixed Questions Of Law And Fact, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“Federal Circuit”) has long relied on active appellate review to bring uniformity and clarity to patent law. It initially treated the PTO the same as the federal district courts, reviewing its factual findings for clear error and its legal conclusions de novo. Following reversal by the Supreme Court in Dickinson v. Zurko, the Federal Circuit began giving greater deference to PTO factual findings. But it continued to review the PTO’s legal conclusions de novo, while coding an expansive list of disputed issues in patent cases as legal conclusions, even when they ...


Our Administered Constitution: Administrative Constitutionalism From The Founding To The Present, Sophia Z. Lee Jun 2019

Our Administered Constitution: Administrative Constitutionalism From The Founding To The Present, Sophia Z. Lee

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article argues that administrative agencies have been primary interpreters and implementers of the federal Constitution throughout the history of the United States, although the scale and scope of this "administrative constitutionalism" has changed significantly over time as the balance of opportunities and constraints has shifted. Courts have nonetheless cast an increasingly long shadow over the administered Constitution. In part, this is because of the well-known expansion of judicial review in the 20th century. But the shift has as much to do with changes in the legal profession, legal theory, and lawyers’ roles in agency administration. The result is that ...


Chevron Step Two's Domain, Kent H. Barnett, Christopher J. Walker Jan 2018

Chevron Step Two's Domain, Kent H. Barnett, Christopher J. Walker

Scholarly Works

An increasing number of judges, policymakers, and scholars have advocated eliminating or narrowing Chevron deference—a two-step inquiry under which courts defer to federal agencies’ reasonable interpretations of ambiguous statutes the agencies administer. Much of the debate centers on either Chevron’s domain (i.e., when Chevron should apply at all) or how courts ascertain statutory ambiguity at Chevron’s first step. Largely lost in this debate on constraining agency discretion is the role of Chevron’s second step: whether the agency’s resolution of a statutory ambiguity is reasonable. Drawing on the most comprehensive study of Chevron in the ...


Administrative Law's Political Dynamics, Kent H. Barnett, Christina L. Boyd, Christopher J. Walker Jan 2018

Administrative Law's Political Dynamics, Kent H. Barnett, Christina L. Boyd, Christopher J. Walker

Scholarly Works

Over thirty years ago, the Supreme Court in Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. commanded courts to uphold federal agency interpretations of ambiguous statutes as long as those interpretations are reasonable. This Chevron deference doctrine was based in part on the Court’s desire to temper administrative law’s political dynamics by vesting federal agencies, not courts, with primary authority to make policy judgments about ambiguous laws Congress charged the agencies to administer. Despite this express objective, scholars such as Frank Cross, Emerson Tiller, and Cass Sunstein have empirically documented how politics influence circuit court ...


Improving Regulatory Analysis At Independent Agencies, Cary Coglianese Jan 2018

Improving Regulatory Analysis At Independent Agencies, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Each year, independent regulatory agencies—such as the Federal Communications Commission, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Securities and Exchange Commission—issue highly consequential regulations. When they issue their regulations, however, they do not have to meet the same requirements for analysis that apply to other agencies. Consequently, courts, policymakers, and scholars have voiced serious reservations about a general lack of high-quality prospective analysis of new regulations at independent agencies. These agencies’ track records with retrospective analysis of their existing regulations raise similar concerns. In this article, I approach the quality of regulatory analysis at independent agencies as a policy problem, assessing ...


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 ...


Chevron In The Circuit Courts, Kent H. Barnett, Christopher J. Walker Jan 2017

Chevron In The Circuit Courts, Kent H. Barnett, Christopher J. Walker

Scholarly Works

This Article presents findings from the most comprehensive empirical study to date on how the federal courts of appeals have applied Chevron deference—the doctrine under which courts defer to a federal agency’s reasonable interpretation of an ambiguous statute that it administers. Based on 1,558 agency interpretations the circuit courts reviewed from 2003 through 2013 (where they cited Chevron), we found that the circuit courts overall upheld 71% of interpretations and applied Chevron deference 77% of the time. But there was nearly a twenty-five-percentage-point difference in agency-win rates when the circuit courts applied Chevron deference than when they ...


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 ...


Administrative Law: The U.S. And Beyond, Cary Coglianese Jul 2016

Administrative Law: The U.S. And Beyond, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Administrative law constrains and directs the behavior of officials in the many governmental bodies responsible for implementing legislation and handling governance responsibilities on a daily basis. This field of law consists of procedures for decision making by these administrative bodies, including rules about transparency and public participation. It also encompasses oversight practices provided by legislatures, courts, and elected executives. The way that administrative law affects the behavior of government officials holds important implications for the fulfillment of democratic principles as well as effective governance in society. This paper highlights salient political theory and legal issues fundamental to the U.S ...


Against Administrative Judges, Kent H. Barnett Jun 2016

Against Administrative Judges, Kent H. Barnett

Scholarly Works

The single largest cadre of federal adjudicators goes largely ignored by scholars, policymakers, courts, and even litigating parties. These Administrative Judges or “AJs,” often confused with well-known federal Administrative Law Judges or “ALJs,” operate by the thousands in numerous federal agencies. Yet unlike ALJs, the significantly more numerous AJs preside over less formal hearings and have no significant statutory protections to preserve their impartiality. The national press has recently called attention to the alleged unfairness of certain ALJ proceedings, and regulated parties have successfully enjoined agencies’ use of ALJs. While fixes are necessary for ALJ adjudication, any solution that ignores ...


Controlling Presidential Control, Kathryn A. Watts Jan 2016

Controlling Presidential Control, Kathryn A. Watts

Articles

Presidents Reagan and Clinton laid the foundation for strong presidential control over the administrative state, institutionalizing White House review of agency regulations. Presidential control, however, did not stop there. To the contrary, it has evolved and deepened during the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Indeed, President Obama’s efforts to control agency action have dominated the headlines in recent months, touching on everything from immigration to drones to net neutrality.

Despite the entrenchment of presidential control over the modern regulatory state, administrative law has yet to adapt. To date, the most pervasive response both inside and outside ...


Minimally Democratic Administrative Law, Jud Mathews Jan 2016

Minimally Democratic Administrative Law, Jud Mathews

Journal Articles

A persistent challenge for the American administrative state is reconciling the vast powers of unelected agencies with our commitment to government by the people. Many features of contemporary administrative law — from the right to participate in agency processes, to the reason-giving requirements on agencies, to the presidential review of rulemaking — have been justified, at least in part, as means to square the realities of agency power with our democratic commitments. At the root of any such effort there lies a theory of democracy, whether fully articulated or only implicit: some conception of what democracy is about, and what democracy requires ...


Codifying Chevmore, Kent H. Barnett Apr 2015

Codifying Chevmore, Kent H. Barnett

Scholarly Works

This Article considers the significance and promise of Congress’s unprecedented codification of the well-known Chevron and Skidmore judicial-deference doctrines (to which I refer collectively as “Chevmore”). Congress did so in the Dodd-Frank Act by instructing courts to apply the Skidmore deference factors when reviewing certain agency-preemption decisions and by referring to Chevron throughout.

This codification is meaningful because it informs the delegation theory that undergirds Chevmore (i.e., that Congress intends to delegate interpretive primacy over statutory interpretation to agencies under Chevron or courts under Skidmore). Scholars and at least three Supreme Court Justices have decried the judicial inquiry ...


Means And Ends In City Of Arlington V. Fcc: Ignoring The Lawyer's Craft To Reshape The Scope Of Chevron Deference, Michael P. Healy Apr 2015

Means And Ends In City Of Arlington V. Fcc: Ignoring The Lawyer's Craft To Reshape The Scope Of Chevron Deference, Michael P. Healy

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

In last year's term, the United States Supreme Court considered the question of the scope of Chevron deference in City of Arlington v. FCC. This article discusses how the decision is an example of the work of an activist Court. The case should have been resolved by a straightforward determination under the analysis of United States v. Mead that Chevron deference simply did not apply to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) legal determination. The Court ignored this restrained approach to the case and instead addressed the question the Justices desired to decide: the reach of Chevron deference. The ...


Unearthing The Lost History Of Seminole Rock, Amy J. Wildermuth, Sanne H. Knudsen Jan 2015

Unearthing The Lost History Of Seminole Rock, Amy J. Wildermuth, Sanne H. Knudsen

Articles

In 1945, the Supreme Court blessed a lesser known type of agency deference in Bowles v. Seminole Rock. Also known as Auer deference, it affords deference to agency interpretations of their own regulations. Courts regularly defer to agencies under this doctrine, regardless of where the interpretations first appear or how long-standing they are. Recently members of the Supreme Court have signaled a willingness to reconsider, and perhaps jettison, Seminole Rock. We agree. Seminole Rock has been widely accepted but surprisingly disconnected from any analysis of its origins and justifications. This Article — the first historical explication of Seminole Rock deference — argues ...


Improving Agencies’ Preemption Expertise With Chevmore Codification, Kent H. Barnett Nov 2014

Improving Agencies’ Preemption Expertise With Chevmore Codification, Kent H. Barnett

Scholarly Works

After nearly thirty years, the judicially crafted Chevron and Skidmore judicial-review doctrines have found new life as exotic, yet familiar, legislative tools. When Chevron deference applies, courts employ two steps: they consider whether the statutory provision at issue is ambiguous, and, if so, they defer to an administering agency’s reasonable interpretation. Skidmore deference, in contrast, is a less deferential regime in which courts assume interpretative primacy over statutory ambiguities but defer to agency action based on four factors — the agency’s thoroughness, reasoning, consistency, and overall persuasiveness. In the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Congress directed ...


Chevron At The Roberts Court: Still Failing After All These Years, Jack M. Beermann Nov 2014

Chevron At The Roberts Court: Still Failing After All These Years, Jack M. Beermann

Faculty Scholarship

This article looks at how Chevron deference has fared at the Supreme Court since John G. Roberts became Chief Justice. The article looks at Chevron deference at the Roberts Court from three distinct angles. First, the voting records of individual Justices in cases citing Chevron are examined to shed light on the strength of each Justice’s commitment to deference to agency statutory construction. Second, a select sample of opinions citing Chevron are qualitatively examined to see whether the Roberts Court has been any more successful than its predecessor in constructing a coherent Chevron doctrine. Third, the article looks closely ...