JCPOA: One Year in Review - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
Mark Dubowitz, Peter Harrell September 30, 2016

After one year of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action assessments and critiques, have American security interests been damaged? Is Iranian gamesmanship ephemeral, or durably threatening? Critics point to evasions of the JCPOA like the easing of economic sanctions and the un-reviewed arms deals and contracts with Russia to say that the “deal” has only served as cover for Iranian nuclear infractions. Is the U.S. Congress empowered to demand a better deal, even after a year of performance and European reliance on a return to the status quo ante for financial re-engagement with Iran? Are there historic precedents for resetting the terms? In light of coming sunset clauses that may see Iran at near zero break-out time, what leverage potential does NATO possess, and do any “snap back” sanctions represent real restraining power?


  • Mark Dubowitz, Executive Director, Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD)
  • Peter Harrell, Adjunct Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security

Regulations at the End of the Obama Administration - Podcast

Administrative Law & Regulation Practice Group Podcast
Sofie Miller, Sam Batkins, Adam J. White September 23, 2016

From the EPA to HHS to the CFPB, the volume of regulatory rulemaking and other agency actions has been a major point of controversy throughout the Obama Administration’s eight years. So it is only fitting that the Administration’s closing months should spur research on new regulations and those yet to come before the Administration’s clock strikes “midnight.” On September 22, the Federalist Society will host a teleforum to discuss these issues, with the authors of two such studies.

In “600 Major Regulations,” Sam Batkins of the American Action Forum updates the AFF’s 2015 report on the Administration’s volume of "major rules”—that is, the rules that each have a projected impact of $100 million or more annually. According to his report, the Administration’s 600 rules in 7.5 years "is 20 percent more than the previous president did in eight years,” and will "cost for more than $740 billion in regulatory burdens.”

And in “The Final Countdown: Projecting Midnight Regulations,” Sofie Miller and Daniel Pérez of George Washington University’s Regulatory Studies Center analyze the “midnight rules” that the Obama Administration might finalize in coming weeks and months, before the next President has a chance to block them. Applying new quantitative models, they forecast that an average of 72 "economically significant” rules will be published between July 2016 and January 2017, a 118% increase over the Obama Administration’s current average rate of regulation.

The Federalist Society’s Administrative Law Section is pleased to host two of the authors of these reports to discuss their findings: Sam Batkins and Sofie Miller. The discussion will be moderated by Adam White, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.


  • Sam Batkins, Author, Director of Regulatory Policy, American Action Forum
  • Sofie Miller Senior Policy Analyst, Regulatory Studies Center, George Washington University
  • Moderator: Adam White, Research Fellow, The Hoover Institution

Texas and Regulation - Event Audio/Video

Second Annual Texas Chapters Conference
Arif Panju, Timothy Sandefur, Prerak Shah, Russell Withers, Don R. Willett, Diane Kozub September 22, 2016

The tension between economic liberty and the state’s power to regulate economic activity has long served as a source for landmark cases and controversies.  Post-New Deal jurisprudence opened the floodgates to economic regulation.  In Texas, entrepreneurs who have developed cutting-edge innovations have found themselves tangled in regulatory red tape.  But one’s right to engage in economic activity free from unreasonable government interference has always been understood as being in lockstep with Texas’s independent spirit.  However, critics maintain that consumer protection and maintaining a level playing field are also important goals in crafting their regulatory policies. This tension has given rise to cases and legislative battles in the Lone Star State that have garnered national attention.  Will Texas continue to lead the way for entrepreneurs and innovators, and how will the regulatory state affect this trajectory?  What is the proper balance between innovation and regulation?

This panel took place on September 17, 2016, during the Second Annual Texas Chapters Conference in Austin, Texas. The theme for the conference was "The Separation of Powers in the Administrative State".

Panel Three: Texas and Regulation 
3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. 

Amphitheater 204

  • Mr. Arif Panju, Institute for Justice
  • Mr. Tim Sandefur, Goldwater Institute and author, The Right to Earn a Living
  • Mr. Prerak Shah, Office of Texas Attorney General
  • Mr. Russell Withers, General Counsel, Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute
  • Moderator: Hon. Don Willett, Texas Supreme Court
  • Introduction: Ms. Diane Kozub, Former Assistant United States Attorney at United States Attorney's Office

AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX

Local Control or Abdication of Individual Rights? - Event Audio/Video

Second Annual Texas Chapters Conference
Phil King, Andrew P. Morriss, Don Zimmerman, Michael Massengale, Roger Borgelt, Leonard A. Leo September 22, 2016

A growing number of Texas municipalities are passing so-called "nanny state" restrictions and regulations that may interfere with Texans’ personal liberties, property rights, and livelihood. Advocates of these types of regulations defend them by citing a theory of “local control,” which posits that government works best when it is closest to the people. Our republic is founded upon the notion that all powers not granted to the federal government are reserved to the states or to the people. Some say the notion of local control being anything other than a specific grant of authority from the state government is a misunderstanding of federalism. This could lead to "grassroots tyranny" in which individual liberties of Texans are encroached by local government. Should the Legislature enforce strict limits on municipalities or should it defer to the will of a geographical majority? How can the Legislature reassert its primacy as the state’s lawgiver and defender of individual liberty if existing statutes are overlooked by the courts?  In short, this panel will discuss a theory of local control and determine whether the Texas Legislature has abdicated too much lawmaking authority to political subdivisions throughout the state.

This panel took place on September 17, 2016, during the Second Annual Texas Chapters Conference in Austin, Texas. The theme for the conference was "The Separation of Powers in the Administrative State".

Panel Two: Local Control or Abdication of Individual Rights?
1:15 p.m. - 2: 45 p.m.

Amphitheater 204

  • Hon. Phil King, Texas House of Representatives, District 61
  • Dean Andrew P. Morriss, Dean and Anthony G. Buzbee Dean’s Endowed Chair, Texas A&M University School of Law
  • Hon. Don Zimmerman, Council Member, District 6, Austin
  • Moderator: Hon. Michael Massengale, First Court of Appeals, Texas
  • Introduction: Mr. Roger Borgelt, Principal and CEO, Borgelt Law
  • Introduction: Mr. Leonard A. Leo, Executive Vice President, The Federalist Society

AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX