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Full-Text Articles in Law

Did Nepa Drown New Orleans? The Levees, The Blame Game, And The Hazards Of Hindsight, Thomas O. Mcgarity, Douglas A. Kysar Sep 2006

Did Nepa Drown New Orleans? The Levees, The Blame Game, And The Hazards Of Hindsight, Thomas O. Mcgarity, Douglas A. Kysar

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

This Article highlights the hazards of hindsight analysis of the causes of catastrophic events, focusing on theories of why the New Orleans levees failed during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and particularly on the theory that the levee failures were "caused" by a 1977 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) lawsuit that resulted in a temporary injunction against the Army Corps of Engineers' hurricane protection project for New Orleans. The Article provides a detailed historical reconstruction of the decision process that eventuated in the New Orleans storm surge protection system, focusing both on the political and legal factors involved and on the …


The "Benefits" Of Non-Delegation: Using The Non-Delegation Doctrine To Bring More Rigor To Benefit-Cost Analysis, Victor B. Flatt Aug 2006

The "Benefits" Of Non-Delegation: Using The Non-Delegation Doctrine To Bring More Rigor To Benefit-Cost Analysis, Victor B. Flatt

ExpressO

This article examines the problems of benefit-cost (or cost-benefit) analysis in our regulatory system and posits that a more nuanced version of the “non-delegation” doctrine (made famous in Schechter Poultry) could improve many of the problems associated with the use of benefit-cost analysis. In particular this article notes that many of the problems with benefit-cost analysis are its use by agencies to make large policy decisions, which could be characterized as legislative. The article also notes that though the “non-delegation” doctrine may appear to be dead or dormant, that a form of it, in separation of powers doctrine, exists in …


It Might Have Been: Risk, Precaution, And Opportunity Costs, Douglas A. Kysar Aug 2006

It Might Have Been: Risk, Precaution, And Opportunity Costs, Douglas A. Kysar

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

This Article, which is part of a larger project on the competing merits of cost-benefit analysis (CBA) and the precautionary principle (PP) as competing policymaking paradigms for environmental, health, and safety regulation, examines one specific plank of the case against the PP: the claim that the principle's ignorance of the opportunity costs of precaution leads to indeterminate or impoverishing policy advice. Because PP defenders emphasize the limits of human knowledge and the frequency of unpleasant surprises from technology and industrial development, they prefer an ex ante stance of precaution whenever a proposed activity meets some threshold possibility of causing severe …


Regulatory Reform: The New Lochnerism?, David M. Driesen Mar 2006

Regulatory Reform: The New Lochnerism?, David M. Driesen

ExpressO

This article explores the question of whether contemporary regulatory reformers’ attitudes toward government regulation have anything in common with those of the Lochner-era Court. It finds that both groups tend to favor value neutral law guided by cost-benefit analysis over legislative value choices. Their skepticism toward redistributive legislation reflects shared beliefs that regulation often proves counterproductive in terms of its own objectives, fails demanding tests for rationality, and violates the natural order. This parallelism raises fresh questions about claims of neutrality and heightened rationality that serve as important justifications modern regulatory reform.


Is Cost-Benefit Analysis Neutral?, David M. Driesen Jan 2006

Is Cost-Benefit Analysis Neutral?, David M. Driesen

College of Law - Faculty Scholarship

Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) owes much of its appeal to its image as a neutral principle for deciding upon the appropriate stringency of environmental, health, and safety regulation. This article examines whether CBA is neutral in effect, i.e. whether it sometimes makes regulations more stringent or regularly leads to weaker health, safety and environmental protection. It also addresses the question of whether CBA offers either an objective value-neutral method or procedural neutrality. This Article shows that CBA has almost always proven anti-environmental in practice and that, in many ways, it is anti-environmental in theory. It examines the practice of the Bush …


Is Cost-Benefit Analysis Neutral, David M. Driesen Jan 2006

Is Cost-Benefit Analysis Neutral, David M. Driesen

University of Colorado Law Review

Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) owes much of its appeal to its image as a neutral principle for deciding upon the appropriate stringency of environmental, health, and safety regulation. This Article examines whether CBA is neutral in effect-i.e. whether it sometimes makes regulations more stringent or regularly leads to weaker environmental, health, and safety protection. Using a representative data set from recent Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reviews, an examination of OMB prompt letters, and a literature review, this Article shows that CBA has almost always proven anti-environmental in practice. It also shows that the most common approaches to CBA are …


Hurricane Katrina: The Duties And Responsibilities Of An Attorney In The Wake Of A Natural Disaster The Fifth Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice And Professional Responsibility: Comment., Brenna G. Nava Jan 2006

Hurricane Katrina: The Duties And Responsibilities Of An Attorney In The Wake Of A Natural Disaster The Fifth Annual Symposium On Legal Malpractice And Professional Responsibility: Comment., Brenna G. Nava

St. Mary's Law Journal

Hurricane Katrina ravaged the legal system as well as the corporate world by leaving courtrooms and law firms filled with water. In the storm’s aftermath the luckiest law firms were those large enough to have offices in cities other than those directly affected by the hurricane. Many recent disasters have heavily affected the legal system, including flooded basements, office fires, hard drive crashes, terrorist attacks, tornados or earthquakes. And each new disaster brings different consequences. Those who create disaster plans are better equipped to handle and recover from each new series of setbacks. While various firms and courts made plans …