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Full-Text Articles in Law

Responding To Mass, Computer-Generated, And Malattributed Comments, Steven J. Balla, Reeve Bull, Bridget C.E. Dooling, Emily Hammond, Michael A. Livermore, Michael Herz, Beth Simone Noveck Jan 2022

Responding To Mass, Computer-Generated, And Malattributed Comments, Steven J. Balla, Reeve Bull, Bridget C.E. Dooling, Emily Hammond, Michael A. Livermore, Michael Herz, Beth Simone Noveck

Articles

A number of technological and political forces have transformed the once staid and insider dominated notice-and-comment process into a forum for large scale, sometimes messy, participation in regulatory decisionmaking. It is not unheard of for agencies to receive millions of comments on rulemakings; often these comments are received as part of organized mass comment campaigns. In some rulemakings, questions have been raised about whether public comments were submitted under false names, or were automatically generated by computer “bot” programs. In this Article, we examine whether and to what extent such submissions are problematic and make recommendations for how rulemaking agencies …


How The Administrative State Got To This Challenging Place, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2021

How The Administrative State Got To This Challenging Place, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

Written for a dispersed agrarian population using hand tools in a local economy, our Constitution now controls an American government orders of magnitude larger that has had to respond to profound changes in transportation, communication, technology, economy, and scientific understanding. How did our government get to this place? The agencies Congress has created to meet these changes now face profound new challenges: transition from the paper to the digital age; the increasing centralization in an opaque, political presidency of decisions that Congress has assigned to diverse, relatively expert and transparent bodies; the thickening, as well, of the political layer within …


Agency Statutory Abnegation In The Deregulatory Playbook, William W. Buzbee May 2019

Agency Statutory Abnegation In The Deregulatory Playbook, William W. Buzbee

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

If an agency newly declares that it lacks statutory power previously claimed, how should such a move—what this article calls agency statutory abnegation—be reviewed? Given the array of strategies an agency might use to make a policy change or move the law in a deregulatory direction, why might statutory abnegation be chosen? After all, it is always a perilous and likely doctrinally disadvantageous strategy for agencies. Nonetheless, agencies from time to time have utilized statutory abnegation claims as part of their justification for deregulatory shifts. Actions by agencies during 2017 and 2018, under the administration of President Donald J. Trump, …


National Security Lawyering: The Best View Of The Law As A Regulative Ideal, Mary B. Derosa Apr 2018

National Security Lawyering: The Best View Of The Law As A Regulative Ideal, Mary B. Derosa

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In The National Security Lawyer in Crisis: When the “Best View” of the Law May Not Be the Best View, Robert Bauer describes the challenges for executive branch lawyers providing advice during a national security crisis. Bauer focuses on two especially perilous episodes in United States history—the Cuban Missile Crisis and the run-up to U.S. involvement in World War II—and analyzes the legal advice Presidents Kennedy and Roosevelt, respectively, received. In both cases, widely respected lawyers gave legal advice that supported the President’s preferred outcome, but almost certainly did not represent what the lawyers considered the best view of …


From The History To The Theory Of Administrative Constitutionalism, Sophia Z. Lee Jan 2017

From The History To The Theory Of Administrative Constitutionalism, Sophia Z. Lee

All Faculty Scholarship

Legal scholars and historians have shown growing interest in how agencies interpret and implement the Constitution, what is called “administrative constitutionalism.” The points of contact between the history and theory of administrative constitutionalism are sufficiently extensive to merit systematic analysis. This chapter focuses on what history can offer the theory of administrative constitutionalism. It argues that historical accounts of administrative constitutionalism invite a more robust normative defense of the practice than theorists have thus far provided. There is much to the transparent, participatory versions of administrative constitutionalism that its defenders have primarily focused on thus far. This chapter is a …


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

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

All Faculty Scholarship

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. administrative …


Agenda-Setting In The Regulatory State: Theory And Evidence, Cary Coglianese, Daniel E. Walters Jan 2016

Agenda-Setting In The Regulatory State: Theory And Evidence, Cary Coglianese, Daniel E. Walters

All Faculty Scholarship

Government officials who run administrative agencies must make countless decisions every day about what issues and work to prioritize. These agenda-setting decisions hold enormous implications for the shape of law and public policy, but they have received remarkably little attention by either administrative law scholars or social scientists who study the bureaucracy. Existing research offers few insights about the institutions, norms, and inputs that shape and constrain agency discretion over their agendas or about the strategies that officials employ in choosing to elevate certain issues while putting others on the back burner. In this article, we advance the study of …


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 …


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 …


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 …


The President's Enforcement Power, Kate Andrias Jan 2013

The President's Enforcement Power, Kate Andrias

Articles

Enforcement of law is at the core of the President’s constitutional duty to “take Care” that the laws are faithfully executed, and it is a primary mechanism for effecting national regulatory policy. Yet questions about how presidents oversee agency enforcement activity have received surprisingly little scholarly attention. This Article provides a positive account of the President’s role in administrative enforcement, explores why presidential enforcement has taken the shape it has, and examines the bounds of the President’s enforcement power. It demonstrates that presidential involvement in agency enforcement, though extensive, has been ad hoc, crisis-driven, and frequently opaque. The Article thus …


Toward A Sustainable Future: An Environmental Agenda For The Second Term Of The Obama Administration, David M. Uhlmann Jan 2013

Toward A Sustainable Future: An Environmental Agenda For The Second Term Of The Obama Administration, David M. Uhlmann

Other Publications

Much was at stake in the Presidential election of 2012, which was marked by heated debate over the trajectory of the economy, the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, and the fat of the President's health care plan. The candidates disagreed about nearly every issue from foreign policy and the war on terror to a woman's right to choose and same-sex marriage. Lost amid the din and never mentioned in the Presidential debates or most of the campaign speeches was another divisive topic: how our environmental laws and policies should address global climate change and chart a sustainable future for …


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 …


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.


Lincoln's Populist Sovereignty: Public Finance Of, By, And For The People, Timothy A. Canova Apr 2009

Lincoln's Populist Sovereignty: Public Finance Of, By, And For The People, Timothy A. Canova

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Rulemaking And The American Constitution, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2009

Rulemaking And The American Constitution, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

A Constitution that strongly separates legislative from executive activity makes it difficult to reconcile executive adoption of regulations (that is, departmentally adopted texts resembling statutes and having the force of law, if valid) with the proposition that the President is not ‘to be a lawmaker’. Such activity is, of course, an essential of government in the era of the regulatory state. United States courts readily accept the delegation to responsible agencies of authority to engage in it, what we call ‘rulemaking’, so long as it occurs in a framework that permits them to assess the legality of any particular exercise. …


Legal Frameworks And Institutional Contexts For Public Consultation Regarding Administrative Action: The United States, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2009

Legal Frameworks And Institutional Contexts For Public Consultation Regarding Administrative Action: The United States, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

Written for a forthcoming book on e-governance and e-democracy, this essay summarizes the current state of play in electronic rulemaking in the United States. It thus focuses on a context in which the use of electronic consultation by “executive branch” actors engaged in policy-making has been developing for over a decade, and has reached a point of considerable, although not final maturity. Initially developed haphazardly, agency-by-agency, it is now (albeit with friction in the gears) moving towards a centralized regime. The practice is rarely consultative in the full sense the book as a whole will address; while the public is …


Legacy Of The Clinton Bubble, Timothy Canova Jan 2008

Legacy Of The Clinton Bubble, Timothy Canova

Law Faculty News Articles, Editorials, and Blogs

This article looks at the economy following the Clinton administration period in the White House.


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 …


Limiting Federal Agency Preemption: Recommendations For A New Federalism Executive Order, William Funk, Thomas Mcgarity, Nina A. Mendelson, Sidney Shapiro, David Vladeck, Matthew Shudtz, James Goodwin Jan 2008

Limiting Federal Agency Preemption: Recommendations For A New Federalism Executive Order, William Funk, Thomas Mcgarity, Nina A. Mendelson, Sidney Shapiro, David Vladeck, Matthew Shudtz, James Goodwin

Other Publications

The structure of the U.S. Constitution reflects a profound respect for the principles of federalism and state sovereignty. These principles require the federal government to recognize and encourage opportunities for state and local governments to exercise their authority, especially in areas of traditional state concern such as the protection of the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens. However, over the last six years there has been a coordinated Executive Branch effortto use the regulatory process to shield certain product manufacturers from state tort liability. The Food and Drug Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Consumer Product Safety Commission, …


Much Ado About Nothing?, Cary Coglianese Jan 2008

Much Ado About Nothing?, Cary Coglianese

All Faculty Scholarship

Policy scholars and decision makers should be careful before concluding that President Bush's recent Executive Order 13422 will result in "paralysis by analysis." That lament has been heard about other changes to rule making procedures over the last seven decades, yet steady increases in the cost and volume of federal regulations during that time period clearly indicate that paralysis has yet to set in. Administrative procedures are embedded within a complex web of politics, institutions, and organizational behavior. Within that web, procedures are but one factor influencing government agencies.


Slides: The Roadless Rules And The Roles Of States And Communities, Sharon Friedman Jun 2007

Slides: The Roadless Rules And The Roles Of States And Communities, Sharon Friedman

The Future of Natural Resources Law and Policy (Summer Conference, June 6-8)

Presenter: Sharon Friedman, Director of Planning, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region

13 slides


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 …


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 …