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Administrative Law

Net Neutrality: The Power to Act - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Maureen K. Ohlhausen, Daniel Lyons, Michael Weinberg, Randolph J. May August 04, 2014

After suffering two judicial setbacks already, most recently in the D.C. Circuit’s Verizon v. FCC decision this past January, the Federal Communications Commission is once again proposing to adopt new net neutrality regulations. The proposed regulations would bar internet service providers from blocking access to any lawful website or from engaging in commercially unreasonable practices. A key aspect of the FCC’s proposal drawing considerable attention concerns whether the FCC should bar so-called paid prioritization of internet traffic.

In this Teleforum, three experts with divergent views addressed whether there is any need for the FCC to adopt any new neutrality regulations and, if so, whether the agency possesses the legal authority to do so. Two principal legal theories that may support FCC action were discussed – using the FCC’s existing authority under Section 706 of the Communications Act or classifying internet service providers as common carriers under Title II of the Act. The panelists also discussed the most important question of all: whether and how net neutrality regulation might affect consumer welfare.

  • Maureen K. Ohlhausen, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
  • Prof. Daniel Lyons, Boston College Law School
  • Michael Weinberg, Vice President, Public Knowledge
  • Moderator: Randolph J. May, President, The Free State Foundation

Federal Health Care Exchanges Not Eligible for Subsidies: Halbig v. Burwell - Podcast

Administrative Law & Regulation Practice Group Podcast
Jonathan H. Adler, Nicholas Bagley July 22, 2014

In a case decided on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the court ruled that subsidies can be granted only to those people who bought health insurance in exchanges run by an individual state or the District of Columbia, and not to people who purchased health insurance on the federally run exchange, HealthCare.gov. How did the court reach its conclusion, and is the court’s reasoning sound? Will the ruling make the Affordable Care Act financially unworkable? Is a final ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court inevitable?

  • Prof. Jonathan Adler, Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
  • Prof. Nicholas Bagley, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School

Is Administrative Law Unlawful? - Podcast

Administrative Law & Regulation Practice Group Podcast
Adam J. White, Philip A. Hamburger July 03, 2014

Is Administrative Law Unlawful?

In his new book, Is Administrative Law Unlawful?, Professor Philip Hamburger answers the provocative question posed in his title in the affirmative. Rather than accepting administrative law as a novel power necessitated by modern society, he locates its origins in the medieval and early modern English tradition of royal prerogative and traces resistance to administrative law from the Middle Ages to the present. Medieval parliaments periodically tried to confine the Crown to governing through regular law, but the most effective response was the seventeenth-century development of English constitutional law, which concluded that the government could rule only through the law of the land and the courts, not through administrative edicts. Although the United States Constitution pursued this conclusion even more vigorously, administrative power reemerged in the Progressive and New Deal Eras. Since then, Professor Hamburger argues, administrative law has returned American government and society to precisely the sort of consolidated or absolute power that the U.S. Constitution — and constitutions in general — were designed to prevent.

Professor Hamburger joined us on a Teleforum conference call to discuss his new book, with additional commentary from Adam White. Mr. White’s recent review of the book for the Wall Street Journal is available here.

  • Prof. Philip A. Hamburger, Maurice and Hilda Friedman Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
  • Adam J. White, Counsel, Boyden Gray & Associates

Supreme Court Rules on Greenhouse Gases - Podcast

Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Podcast
Robert R. Gasaway June 26, 2014

Supreme CourtOn Monday, June 23, 2014, the Supreme Court decided Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency. At issue was the EPA’s conclusion that its regulation of greenhouse gases from motor vehicles triggered mandatory regulation of GHGs from large stationary sources, as well as EPA’s subsequent decision to rewrite the statutory emission thresholds in order to facilitate GHG regulation. The Court held that the EPA is not obligated to regulate GHGs under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V programs, and that the EPA is not permitted to rewrite the applicable statutory emission thresholds – an important reaffirmation that agencies are not allowed to rewrite the statutes that they administer. However, the Court also concluded that it was reasonable for the EPA to interpret the Clean Air Act to allow for the regulation of GHG emissions from sources already subject to regulation under the PSD and Title V program. Our expert discussed the opinion and its impact and future regulation of greenhouse gases.

  • Robert R. Gasaway, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP