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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Submerged Administrative State, Gabriel Scheffler, Daniel E. Walters May 2024

The Submerged Administrative State, Gabriel Scheffler, Daniel E. Walters

Faculty Scholarship

The United States government is experiencing a reputation crisis: after decades of declining public trust, many Americans have lost confidence in the government’s capacity to perform its basic functions. While various explanations have been offered for this worrying trend, these existing accounts overlook a key factor: people are unfamiliar with the institutions that actually do most of the governing—administrative agencies—and they devalue what they cannot easily observe. The “submerged” nature of the administrative state is, we argue, a central reason for declining trust in government.

This Article shows that the administrative state is systematically submerged in two ways. First, administrative …


Four Futures Of Chevron Deference, Daniel E. Walters Mar 2024

Four Futures Of Chevron Deference, Daniel E. Walters

Faculty Scholarship

In two upcoming cases, the Supreme Court will consider whether to overturn the Chevron doctrine, which, since 1984, has required courts to defer to reasonable agency interpretations of otherwise ambiguous statutes. In this short essay, I defend the proposition that, even on death’s door, Chevron deference is likely to be resurrected, and I offer a simple positive political theory model that helps explain why. The core insight of this model is that the prevailing approach to judicial review of agency interpretations of law is politically contingent—that is, it is likely to represent an equilibrium that efficiently maximizes the Supreme Court’s …


Grid Governance In The Energy-Trilemma Era: Remedying The Democracy Deficit, Daniel E. Walters, Andrew N. Kleit May 2023

Grid Governance In The Energy-Trilemma Era: Remedying The Democracy Deficit, Daniel E. Walters, Andrew N. Kleit

Faculty Scholarship

Transforming the electric power grid is central to any viable scenario for addressing global climate change, but the process and politics of this transformation are complex. The desire to transform the grid creates an “energy trilemma” involving often conflicting desires for reliability, cost, and decarbonization; and, at least in the short run, it is difficult to avoid making tradeoffs between these different goals. It is somewhat shocking, then, that many crucial decisions about electric power service in the United States are made not by consumers or their utilities, nor by state public utilities commissions or federal regulators. Instead, for much …


The Case Against Regional Transmission Monopolies, Kristen Van De Biezendos Jan 2023

The Case Against Regional Transmission Monopolies, Kristen Van De Biezendos

Faculty Scholarship

Over the next decade, the United States will need to build significant regional transmission infrastructure to achieve the country’s goal of net-zero power by 2035. However, there is a significant barrier: the transmission system is almost entirely owned by private monopolies. As a result, the grid has grown not to serve the public interest but in accordance with the economic priorities of these monopolies, which are not incentivized to innovate, find efficiencies, or lower costs. Past attempts to encourage competitive bidding for regional transmission projects have been stymied by laws intended to protect the monopolies, including the right of first …


Publicizing Corporate Secrets, Christopher J. Morten Jan 2023

Publicizing Corporate Secrets, Christopher J. Morten

Faculty Scholarship

Federal regulatory agencies in the United States hold a treasure trove of valuable information essential to a functional society. Yet little of this immense and nominally “public” resource is accessible to the public. That worrying phenomenon is particularly true for the valuable information that agencies hold on powerful private actors. Corporations regularly shield vast swaths of the information they share with federal regulatory agencies from public view, claiming that the information contains legally protected trade secrets (or other proprietary “confidential commercial information”). Federal agencies themselves have largely acceded to these claims and even fueled them, by construing restrictively various doctrines …


Family Moves And The Future Of Public Education, Elizabeth Chu, James S. Liebman, Madeleine Sims, Tim Wang Jan 2023

Family Moves And The Future Of Public Education, Elizabeth Chu, James S. Liebman, Madeleine Sims, Tim Wang

Faculty Scholarship

State laws compel school-aged children to attend school while fully funding only public schools. Especially following the COVID-19 pandemic, this arrangement is under attack — from some for unconstitutionally coercing families to expose their children to non-neutral values to which they object and from others for ignoring the developmental needs of students, particularly students of color and in poverty whom public schools have long underserved. This Article argues that fully subsidized public education is constitutional as long as public schools fulfill their mission to model and commit people to liberal democratic values of tolerance and respect for all persons as …


Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (Spacs) And The Sec, Neal Newman, Lawrence J. Trautman Oct 2022

Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (Spacs) And The Sec, Neal Newman, Lawrence J. Trautman

Faculty Scholarship

Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) are simply enterprises that raise money from the public with the intention of purchasing an existing business and becoming publicly traded in the securities markets. If the SPAC is successful in raising money and the acquisition takes place, the target company takes the SPAC’s place on a stock exchange in a transaction that resembles a public offering. Also known as “blank-check” or “reverse merger” companies, this process avoids many of the pitfalls of a traditional initial public offering.

During late 2020 and 2021 an unprecedented surge in the popularity and issuance of Special Purpose Acquisition …


The Environmental, Social, Governance (Esg) Debate Emerges From The Soil Of Climate Denial, Lawrence J. Trautman, Neal Newman Oct 2022

The Environmental, Social, Governance (Esg) Debate Emerges From The Soil Of Climate Denial, Lawrence J. Trautman, Neal Newman

Faculty Scholarship

It has been almost six decades since Rachel Carson’s ominous warning of pending environmental disaster. During 2019 the United Nations requested urgent action from world leaders, given that “just over a decade is all that remains to stop irreversible damage from climate change.” With every passing year, damage resulting from destructive climate change causes increased pain, suffering, death and massive property loss. During 2020 and 2021 alone, severe weather events have included: destructive fires in California; record breaking freeze, power outage, and threat to the electrical grid in Texas; continuation of disruptive drought in U.S. Western states; and record-breaking high …


Laws And Norms With (Un)Observable Actions, Claude Fluet, Murat C. Mungan Jun 2022

Laws And Norms With (Un)Observable Actions, Claude Fluet, Murat C. Mungan

Faculty Scholarship

We analyze the interactions between social norms, the prevalence of acts, and policies when people cannot directly observe actors’ behavior and must rely on noisy proxies. Norms provide ineffective incentives when acts are committed either very frequently or very infrequently, because noisy signals of behavior are then too weak to alter people’s beliefs about others’ behavior. This cuts against the dynamics of the ‘honor-stigma’ model (Bénabou and Tirole 2006; 2011), and leads to the opposite positive and normative conclusions with even modest errors. The review process through which public signals are provided is then an additional policy variable. When the …


Stress Testing Governance, Rory Van Loo Mar 2022

Stress Testing Governance, Rory Van Loo

Faculty Scholarship

In their efforts to guard against the world’s greatest threats, administrative agencies and businesses have in recent years increasingly used stress tests. Stress tests simulate doomsday scenarios to ensure that the organization is prepared to respond. For example, agencies role-played a deadly pandemic spreading from China to the United States the year before COVID-19, acted out responses to a hypothetical hurricane striking New Orleans months before Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, and required banks to model their ability to withstand a recession prior to the economic downturn of 2020. But too often these exercises have failed to significantly improve readiness …


A Comment On Foohey Et Al., Steering Loan Modifications Post-Pandemic, Susan Block-Lieb Jan 2022

A Comment On Foohey Et Al., Steering Loan Modifications Post-Pandemic, Susan Block-Lieb

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Securities Law: Overview And Contemporary Issues, Neal Newman, Lawrence J. Trautman Dec 2021

Securities Law: Overview And Contemporary Issues, Neal Newman, Lawrence J. Trautman

Faculty Scholarship

This is not your grandfather’s SEC anymore. Rapid technological change has resulted in novel regulatory issues and challenges, as law and policy struggles to keep pace. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reports that “the U.S. capital markets are the deepest, most dynamic, and most liquid in the world. They also have evolved to become increasingly fast and extraordinarily complex. It is our job to be responsive and innovative in the face of significant market developments and trends.” With global markets increasingly interdependent and interconnected and, “as technological advancements and commercial developments have changed how our securities markets operate, …


Algorithms In Business, Merchant-Consumer Interactions, & Regulation, Tabrez Y. Ebrahim Jan 2021

Algorithms In Business, Merchant-Consumer Interactions, & Regulation, Tabrez Y. Ebrahim

Faculty Scholarship

The shift towards the use of algorithms in business has transformed merchant–consumer interactions. Products and services are increasingly tailored for consumers through algorithms that collect and analyze vast amounts of data from interconnected devices, digital platforms, and social networks. While traditionally merchants and marketeers have utilized market segmentation, customer demographic profiles, and statistical approaches, the exponential increase in consumer data and computing power enables them to develop and implement algorithmic techniques that change consumer markets and society as a whole. Algorithms enable targeting of consumers more effectively, in real-time, and with high predictive accuracy in pricing and profiling strategies. In …


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 …


Medical Marijuana: Implications Of Evolving Trends In Regulation, Florence Shu-Acquaye Oct 2020

Medical Marijuana: Implications Of Evolving Trends In Regulation, Florence Shu-Acquaye

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Telehealth For An Aging Population: How Can Law Influence Adoption Among Providers, Payors, And Patients?, Tara Sklar, Christopher Robertson May 2020

Telehealth For An Aging Population: How Can Law Influence Adoption Among Providers, Payors, And Patients?, Tara Sklar, Christopher Robertson

Faculty Scholarship

Telehealth continues to experience substantial investment, innovation, and unprecedented growth. However, telehealth has been slow to transform healthcare. Recent developments in telehealth technologies suggest great potential for chronic care management, mental health services, and care delivery in the home—all of which should be particularly impactful for an aging population with physical and cognitive limitations. While this alignment of technological capacity and market demand is promising, legal barriers remain for telehealth operators to scale up across large geographic areas. To better understand how federal and state law can be reformed to enable greater telehealth utilization, we review and extract lessons from …


Fda In The Time Of Covid-19, Elizabeth Mccuskey Apr 2020

Fda In The Time Of Covid-19, Elizabeth Mccuskey

Faculty Scholarship

Over the past century, Congress has made the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) responsible for regulating the safety and efficacy of drugs and devices being deployed in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The FDA’s regulatory infrastructure was built for public health threats and to combat manufacturers' misinformation about treatments.

This article spotlights the ways in which FDA has been adapting to a new challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic: combating misinformation emanating from within the executive branch.


Is Medicare For All The Answer? Assessing The Health Reform Gestalt As The Aca Turns 10, Nicole Huberfeld Jan 2020

Is Medicare For All The Answer? Assessing The Health Reform Gestalt As The Aca Turns 10, Nicole Huberfeld

Faculty Scholarship

As presidential candidates debate health reform, the expression “Medicare for All” (“M4A”) is on repeat, yet few appear to understand precisely what Medicare is or what M4A would mean. Even more striking is that Americans are vigorously debating health reform when the ACA – President Obama’s signature legislation and a health reform effort on a scale not seen in decades – turns 10 on March 23.

The ACA pioneered universal coverage, but it also ratcheted up health care complexity by building new scaffolding around an old foundation. This fragmented landscape has been exacerbated by a crazy quilt of implementation crafted …


Symposium: The Puzzling And Troubling Grant In Kisor, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2020

Symposium: The Puzzling And Troubling Grant In Kisor, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

From one perspective, the Supreme Court’s decision to grant review in Kisor v. Wilkie is not surprising. Dating back at least to Justice Antonin Scalia’s 2011 concurrence in Talk America v. Michigan Bell Telephone Co., through Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center in 2013 and Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association in 2015, there’s been growing interest on the Supreme Court’s conservative wing in overturning Auer deference, or the doctrine that an agency’s interpretation of its own regulation is “controlling unless plainly erroneous or inconsistent with the regulation.” The campaign to overturn Auer v. Robbins then stalled, with the court denying …


Broadening Consumer Law: Competition, Protection, And Distribution, Rory Van Loo Nov 2019

Broadening Consumer Law: Competition, Protection, And Distribution, Rory Van Loo

Faculty Scholarship

Policymakers and scholars have in distributional conversations traditionally ignored consumer laws, defined as the set of consumer protection, antitrust, and entry barrier laws that govern consumer transactions. Consumer law is overlooked partly because tax law is cast as the most efficient way to redistribute. Another obstacle is that consumer law research speaks to microeconomic and siloed contexts—deceptive fees by Wells Fargo or a proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Even removing millions of dollars of deceptive credit card fees across the nation seems trivial compared to the trillion-dollar growth in income inequality that has sparked concern in recent …


The Missing Regulatory State: Monitoring Businesses In An Age Of Surveillance, Rory Van Loo Oct 2019

The Missing Regulatory State: Monitoring Businesses In An Age Of Surveillance, Rory Van Loo

Faculty Scholarship

An irony of the information age is that the companies responsible for the most extensive surveillance of individuals in history—large platforms such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google—have themselves remained unusually shielded from being monitored by government regulators. But the legal literature on state information acquisition is dominated by the privacy problems of excess collection from individuals, not businesses. There has been little sustained attention to the problem of insufficient information collection from businesses. This Article articulates the administrative state’s normative framework for monitoring businesses and shows how that framework is increasingly in tension with privacy concerns. One emerging complication is …


Digital Market Perfection, Rory Van Loo Mar 2019

Digital Market Perfection, Rory Van Loo

Faculty Scholarship

Google’s, Apple’s, and other companies’ automated assistants are increasingly serving as personal shoppers. These digital intermediaries will save us time by purchasing grocery items, transferring bank accounts, and subscribing to cable. The literature has only begun to hint at the paradigm shift needed to navigate the legal risks and rewards of this coming era of automated commerce. This Article begins to fill that gap first by surveying legal battles related to contract exit, data access, and deception that will determine the extent to which automated assistants are able to help consumers to search and switch, potentially bringing tremendous societal benefits. …


Data-Informed Duties In Ai Development, Frank A. Pasquale Jan 2019

Data-Informed Duties In Ai Development, Frank A. Pasquale

Faculty Scholarship

Law should help direct—and not merely constrain—the development of artificial intelligence (AI). One path to influence is the development of standards of care both supplemented and informed by rigorous regulatory guidance. Such standards are particularly important given the potential for inaccurate and inappropriate data to contaminate machine learning. Firms relying on faulty data can be required to compensate those harmed by that data use—and should be subject to punitive damages when such use is repeated or willful. Regulatory standards for data collection, analysis, use, and stewardship can inform and complement generalist judges. Such regulation will not only provide guidance to …


Intermediaries And Private Speech Regulation: A Transatlantic Dialogue - Workshop Report, Tiffany Li Jan 2019

Intermediaries And Private Speech Regulation: A Transatlantic Dialogue - Workshop Report, Tiffany Li

Faculty Scholarship

The Wikimedia/Yale Law School Initiative on Intermediaries and Information (WIII) at Yale Law School has released a comprehensive report synthesizing key insights from intermediary liability and online speech and expression experts in Europe and the United States.

The report focuses on the critical but complicated issue of private speech regulation on the internet and the connections between platform liability laws and fundamental rights, including free expression. The report reflects discussions held at “Intermediaries & Private Speech Regulation: A Transatlantic Dialogue,” an invitation-only workshop convened by WIII, featuring leading internet law experts from the United States and Europe.

This report highlights …


Regulatory Monitors: Policing Firms In The Compliance Era, Rory Van Loo Jan 2019

Regulatory Monitors: Policing Firms In The Compliance Era, Rory Van Loo

Faculty Scholarship

Like police officers patrolling the streets for crime, the front line for most large business regulators — Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) engineers, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) examiners, and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) inspectors, among others — decide when and how to enforce the law. These regulatory monitors guard against toxic air, financial ruin, and deadly explosions. Yet whereas scholars devote considerable attention to police officers in criminal law enforcement, they have paid limited attention to the structural role of regulatory monitors in civil law enforcement. This Article is the first to chronicle the statutory rise of regulatory monitors and …


Revisionist History? Responding To Gun Violence Under Historical Limitations, Michael Ulrich Jan 2019

Revisionist History? Responding To Gun Violence Under Historical Limitations, Michael Ulrich

Faculty Scholarship

In the D.C. Circuit case Heller v. District of Columbia (Heller II), Judge Kavanaugh wrote that “Heller and McDonald leave little doubt that courts are to assess gun bans and regulations based on text, history, and tradition, not by a balancing test such as strict or intermediate scrutiny.” Now Justice Kavanaugh, will he find support on the highest court for what was then a dissenting view? Chief Justice Roberts, during oral arguments for Heller I, asked “Isn’t it enough to…look at the various regulations that were available at the time…and determine how these—how this restriction and the scope of this …


Comment On 'Error And Regulatory Risk In Financial Institution Regulation', Keith N. Hylton Dec 2018

Comment On 'Error And Regulatory Risk In Financial Institution Regulation', Keith N. Hylton

Faculty Scholarship

I agree with just about everything Jonathan Macey (2017) says in his symposium contribution. His claim that bureaucratic tendencies toward regularity—specifically, treating like cases alike—generate errors in categorization seems appropriate to me. His explanations of the pathologies in financial regulation should fall in the category of essential or required reading for anyone who chooses to write on the topic. Where I differ from Macey is in the choice of framework, or perspective from which to view the pathologies. Whereas Macey adopts an “error cost” framework, which is clearly appropriate for this symposium, I would build explicitly on a “public choice” …


Will Courts Allow States To Regulate Drug Prices?, Christopher Robertson Sep 2018

Will Courts Allow States To Regulate Drug Prices?, Christopher Robertson

Faculty Scholarship

Pharmaceuticals are consuming increasingly large portions of U.S. state budgets, and high prices are preventing patients from getting, and adhering to, essential medicines. In mid-May 2018, President Donald Trump announced a heavily hyped but relatively modest federal plan to bring down drug prices. Meanwhile, several states are moving forward with their own solutions, and Maryland’s approach is particularly ambitious. In 2017, responding to notorious cases such as the 5000% increase in the cost of Daraprim (pyrimethamine) and the 10-fold increase in the cost of EpiPens (epinephrine auto-injectors), Maryland enacted a statute that prohibits manufacturers from “price gouging” on any “essential …


The Case For Investor Ordering, Scott Hirst Jul 2018

The Case For Investor Ordering, Scott Hirst

Faculty Scholarship

Whether corporate arrangements should be mandated by public law or “privately ordered” by corporations themselves has been a foundational question in corporate law scholarship. State corporation laws are generally privately ordered. But a significant and growing number of arrangements are governed by “corporate regulations” created by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). SEC corporate regulations are invariably mandatory. Whether they should be is the focus of this Article.

This Article contributes to the ongoing debate by showing that whether mandatory or privately-ordered rules are optimal depends on the nature of investors, and their incentives in choosing corporate arrangements. The …


Technology Regulation By Default: Platforms, Privacy, And The Cfpb, Rory Van Loo Jul 2018

Technology Regulation By Default: Platforms, Privacy, And The Cfpb, Rory Van Loo

Faculty Scholarship

In the absence of a technology-focused regulator, diverse administrative agencies have been forced to develop regulatory models for governing their sphere of the data economy. These largely uncoordinated efforts offer a laboratory of regulatory experimentation on governance architecture. This symposium essay explores what the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has done in its first several years to regulate financial technology (“fintech”), in the context of broader technology-related concerns identified in the literature. It begins with a survey of what the CFPB has undertaken using more traditional administrative agency tools—enforcement and rulemaking—in areas such as privacy, consumer control over data, and …