Economic Freedom

Innovation and the Administrative State - Event Audio/Video

2015 National Student Symposium
William Baude, Jon Dudas, Steven Lehotsky, Jennifer Nou, Stephen J. Markman, Kathryn Bi April 17, 2015

Regulation can be a significant barrier to innovation, protecting incumbents and making it harder to bring new goods and services to market. Determining the appropriate regulation is all the more difficult when accelerating technology is creating many new opportunities as well as potential dangers. Can the administrative state itself innovate to promote beneficial innovation? Topics to be considered here will be the nature and scope of cost-benefit analysis, the use of experiments to guide regulation and prizes as an alternative to top-down regulation.

  • Prof. William Baude, University of Chicago Law School
  • Mr. Jon Dudas, Senior Associate to the President, University of Arizona and former Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office
  • Mr. Steve Lehotsky, Deputy Chief Counsel for Litigation, U.S. Chamber Litigation Center
  • Prof. Jennifer Nou, University of Chicago Law School
  • Moderator: Hon. Stephen Markman, Michigan Supreme Court
  • Introduction: Ms. Kathryn Bi, President, University of Chicago Law School Federalist Society

This program was presented on February 20, 2015, as part of the 2015 Federalist Society National Student Symposium.

Government Regulation in the Sharing Economy - Event Audio

2015 Annual Western Chapters Conference
Evan Baehr, Katie Biber Chen, Andrea Ambrose Lobato, Stephen R. Miller, Carlos T. Bea, David DeGroot February 10, 2015

In the innovation economy, entrants often confront increased regulatory hurdles, particularly on a state level, as they enter the marketplace and disrupt previously tightly regulated industries, such as hospitality and transportation. In California, for example, legislators have proposed rigorous insurance requirements, drug testing, and new background checks on Uber and Lyft drivers that traditional taxicab drivers do not face. Airbnb faces scrutiny in New York, with critics accusing it of violating rent control laws by creating an underground rental market, threatening public safety and driving up rental prices. In New Jersey, Tesla sales have been shut down after licensing restrictions prevented direct-to-consumer sales of electric vehicles, bypassing franchised dealers. While the entrants contend that these restrictions only serve to restrain competition and protect special entrenched interests, the critics maintain that consumer protection and maintaining a level playing field are the true goals in their regulatory policies. What’s the proper balance between innovation and regulation? Will these new entrants incentivize innovation or will existing regulatory capture only succeed in maintaining the status quo? Are state regulations the greatest impediment to innovation, or do federal regulations also impede progress?

This panel was part of the 2015 Annual Western Chapters Conference held on January 24, 2015, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA.


  • Evan Baehr, Co-founder, Outbox and Co-founder, Able Lending
  • Katie Biber Chen, Senior Counsel, Airbnb 
  • Andrea Ambrose Lobato, Policy Counsel, Lyft
  • Prof. Stephen Miller, University of Idaho School of Law 
  • Moderator: Hon. Carlos Bea, U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • Introduction: Mr. David DeGroot, Special Counsel, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP and President, San Francisco Lawyers Chapter

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Simi Valley, CA

Address by John Allison - Event Audio

2015 Annual Western Chapters Conference
John A. Allison, Andrew G. Pappas February 10, 2015

John Allison, President and CEO of the Cato Institute, delivered the Keynote Address at the 2015 Annual Western Chapters Conference. He was introduced by Andrew Pappas, President of the Los Angeles Lawyers Chapter. The annual conference was held at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA on January 24, 2015.


  • Mr. John Allison, President and CEO, Cato Institute and former CEO, BB&T
  • Introduction: Mr. Andrew G. Pappas, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and President, Los Angeles Lawyers Chapter

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Simi Valley, CA

14th Annual Barbara K. Olson Memorial Lecture - Event Video

2014 National Lawyers Convention
John A. Allison, Eugene B. Meyer November 17, 2014

On September 11, 2001, at the age of 45 and at the height of her professional and personal life, Barbara K. Olson was murdered in the terrorist attacks against the United States as a passenger on the hijacked American Airlines flight that was flown into the Pentagon. The Federalist Society established this annual lecture in Barbara's memory because of her enormous contributions as an active member, supporter, and volunteer leader. Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson delivered the first lecture in November 2001. The lecture series continued in following years with other notable individuals. In 2014, Mr. John Allison, President and CEO of the Cato Institute, delivered the lecture. He was introduced by Mr. Eugene B. Meyer, President of the Federalist Society.


  • Mr. John A. Allison, President and CEO, Cato Institute; former Chairman and CEO, BB&T Corporation
  • Introduction: Mr. Eugene B. Meyer, President, The Federalist Society

Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC