Administrative Law

This Article uncovers the intellectual foundations of presidential administration and—on the basis of original archival research and new contextualization—grounds its legitimacy in the fight against fascism. It shows how the architects of presidential control of the administrative state reconciled a strong executive with democratic norms by embracing separation of powers in order to make the government responsible and antifascist. It then draws...

After President Trump declared a national emergency and diverted funds to build a wall on the southern border, several litigants challenged his action as ultra vires, or beyond his constitutional and statutory authority. The litigants asserted abstract equitable rights of action, implied in federal courts’ equitable powers. The Supreme Court has left unclear, however, whether or not such an implied equitable action for statutory...

Despite deportation’s devastating effects, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) specifies deportation as the penalty for nearly every immigration law violation. Critics have regularly decried the INA’s lack of proportionality, contending that the penalty often does not fit the of­fense. The immigration bureaucracy’s implementation of the INA, how­ever, involves a spectrum of penalties short of deportation. Using tools such as administrative...

Agency delay has become a chronic issue in administrative law. As Congress increasingly relies on reducing appropriations to implement its agenda, agencies have shouldered the conflicting burdens of meeting preexisting statutory deadlines for agency action, while also adhering to their newly reduced budgets. The result has been delayed agency action across a broad range of policy areas, such as environmental protection, health care, and economic...

Commentators and policymakers frequently propose new govern­ment agencies in response to novel or intractable problems. New agencies can refocus public attention on the problems they regulate. They can attract new talent and bypass calcified or captured channels. But they are also costly, and there is no guarantee that they will be more successful than their predecessors.

This Article examines agency genesis at the state level. In the process,...

In the 1951 case United States ex rel. Touhy v. Ragen, the Supreme Court determined that courts can’t hold federal agency officials in contempt for refusing to comply with nonparty subpoenas if they do so pursuant to valid agency regulations. Though the Court suggested that litigants could still challenge these noncompliance decisions, it didn’t flesh out what that process would look like. Following Touhy, federal...

DELEGATION AT THE FOUNDING

Julian Davis Mortenson & Nicholas Bagley*

This Article refutes the claim that the Constitution was originally understood to contain a nondelegation doctrine. The Founding generation didn’t share anything remotely approaching a belief that the constitutional settlement imposed restrictions on the delegation of legislative power—let alone by empowering the judiciary to police legalized...

Over the coming decades, experts estimate that twenty-five percent of all plant and animal species may go extinct. Climate change directly contributes to species extinction through ecosystem shift, and accelerates other drivers of extinction such as destruction of habitat and pollution. The Endangered Species Act is the only legal tool in the United States to directly protect against the threat of species extinction, and critical...

Seven words stand between the President and the heads of over a dozen “independent agencies”: inefficiency, neglect of duty, and malfea­sance in office (INM). The President can remove the heads of these agencies for INM and only INM. But neither Congress nor the courts have defined INM and hence the extent of agency independence. Stepping into this void, some proponents of presidential power argue...

On February 14, 2019, hundreds of thousands of text messages were ensnared in a defective communications server—only to be released months later. By the time these messages reached their recipients, their worlds had changed: Heartfelt valentines arrived from loves now lost; other late-arriving messages seemed to come from the ghosts of the recently passed. It could have been worse. Text messages help to enable a wide variety of critical applications,...