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Administrative Law

The Balance of Power: The People v. The State - Podcast

Administrative Law & Regulation Practice Group Podcast
Charles Murray, Adam J. White July 16, 2015

In his new book, By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission, acclaimed social scientist and bestselling author Charles Murray argues that the balance of power between government and the people has become too one-sided, in favor of the government. He argues that citizens across the political spectrum are suffering under the imbalance, and willing and able to act. The question, though, is what is to be done? His answer might surprise you.

  • Dr. Charles Murray, W.H. Brady Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
  • Adam J. White, Counsel, Boyden Gray & Associates

Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 7-1-15 featuring Andrew Grossman
Andrew Grossman July 01, 2015

On June 29, 2015, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency. The question in this case is whether the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acted unreasonably when it did not consider the costs of compliance in determining whether it was appropriate to regulate hazardous air pollutants emitted by electric utilities.

In an opinion delivered by Justice Scalia, the Court held by a vote of 5-4 that the EPA acted unreasonably when it treated the costs of compliance as irrelevant.  The judgment of the D.C. Circuit was reversed and the case remanded.

Chief Justice Roberts, as well as Justices Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito joined the opinion of the Court. Justice Thomas filed a concurring opinion. Justice Kagan filed a dissenting opinion, which justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor joined. 

To discuss the case, we have Andrew Grossman, who is an associate at the law firm BakerHostetler.

King v. Burwell - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 6-26-15 featuring Jonathan Adler and Josh Blackman
Jonathan H. Adler, Josh Blackman June 26, 2015

On June 25, 2015, the Supreme Court issued its decision in King v. Burwell. The question in this highly anticipated case is whether the Affordable Care Act authorizes the Internal Revenue Service to offer tax credit subsidies for individuals purchasing health insurance through federal exchanges.

In an opinion delivered by the Chief Justice, the Court held by a vote of 6-3 that the tax credit subsidies authorized by section 36B of the Affordable Care Act for individuals purchasing health insurance through state exchanges are also available to individuals in states that have a federal exchange.  The judgment of the Fourth Circuit was affirmed.

Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined the opinion of the Court. Justice Scalia filed a dissenting opinion which Justices Thomas and Alito joined.

To discuss the case, we have Prof. Josh Blackman, who is an Assistant Professor of Law at the South Texas College of Law and Prof. Jonathan Adler who is the Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Business Law and Regulation at Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

Administrative "Death Squads" for Patents? Assessing the New Administrative Procedures for Challenging Patents - Podcast

Intellectual Property Practice Group Podcast
Peter Cicala, Gregory Dolin, Robert Sterne, Mark F. Schultz June 17, 2015

Property rights in patented inventions are being struck down at an unprecedented rate in a new administrative forum. This new post-grant review procedure (PGR), instituted in late 2012, takes place not in a court, but rather in an administrative forum known as the Patent Trials and Appeals Board. The Board has invalidated the vast majority of the patent claims it has reviewed, around 80% by some measures.

The US Patent and Trademark Office appears to have erected a vast and expensive system for granting rights with one hand and taking them away with the other. The former Chief Judge of the nation's patent appeals court, Randall Rader, has called the Board a "death squad" for patents. Many businesses and their attorneys have commented that investors and corporate decisionmakers are re-evaluating their investments in R&D whose value is secured by patents.

Are these criticisms confirmed by the actions of opportunistic hedge funds and law firms? PGR challenges have no standing requirement -- they can be instituted by anyone. Hedge fund manager Kyle Bass has filed a PGR challenge against Jazz Pharmaceuticals after shorting the company's stock. PGRs are viewed as so deadly by investors that they reacted just as Bass hoped -- the stock's value plummeted. Similarly, law firms have been contacting innovative companies and demanding payments not to file PGR challenges against their patents.

This Teleform discussed the expansion of the administrative powers of the Patent Office in establishing the Board, and whether this is another example of overreach by the executive branch that should be reined in via reform measures currently under consideration in Congress.

  • Mr. Peter Cicala, Vice President of Intellectual Property, Chief Patent Counsel, Celgene Corporation
  • Prof. Gregory Dolin, Associate Professor of Law, Co-Director, Center for Medicine and Law, University of Baltimore, School of Law
  • Mr. Robert Sterne, Partner, Sterne Kessler Goldstein Fox
  • Moderator: Prof. Mark Schultz, Senior Scholar, Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, George Mason University School of Law, Associate Professor, Southern Illinois University School of Law

Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 5-13-15 featuring Kevin Govern
Kevin H. Govern May 13, 2015

On January 21, 2015, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean

The question in this case concerns the Federal Whistleblower Protection Act, which prevents the government from terminating an employee for revealing “any violation of any law, rule, or regulation” or “a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety”--unless that revelation is "specifically prohibited by law."  The question here is whether a federal air marshal’s disclosure that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had decided to cut costs by removing air marshals from certain long-distance flights was a disclosure “specifically prohibited by law.”

In an opinion delivered by Chief Justice Roberts, the Court held by a vote of 7-2 that the disclosure in this case was not “specifically prohibited by law.” The judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was affirmed.  The Chief Justice’s opinion was joined by Justices Scalia, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito, and Kagan. Justice Sotomayor issued a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justice Kennedy.

To discuss the case, we have Kevin Govern, who is an Associate Professor of Law at the Ave Maria School of Law.