5 East Wilson Street
Madison, WI 53703
- Sen. Ron Johnson, Wisconsin
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.
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.
The economics profession has long proffered Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) as the best tool for making balanced and efficient governmental decisions on spending and regulation. Though some critics object to the tool, presidents from both parties for over four decades have endorsed the BCA paradigm as the preferred way to make sound regulatory decisions, and Congress is considering legislation that would require agencies to support major regulatory initiatives with BCA.
But is BCA a silver bullet for improving policy decisions? If not, what procedural and analytical changes might improve its usefulness as a policy development tool? This diverse panel of legal and policy experts will explore these questions and examine the appropriate role for congressional and judicial oversight, the proper scope of BCA, and when analysis should be conducted and by whom.
This panel was presented on June 18, 2015, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC during the Third Annual Executive Branch Review Conference.
Costs and Benefits vs. Smoke and Mirrors
9:40 – 11:10 a.m.
June 18, 2015
Michael Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, and Robert N. Weiner, Partner at Arnold & Porter debate the potential consequences of the Court’s ruling concerning whether the Internal Revenue Service may permissibly promulgate regulations to extend tax-credit subsidies to coverage purchased through exchanges established by the federal government under Section 1321 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.