Government Law (State/Federal)

The Role of Congress in Environmental Law - Event Audio/Video

2015 National Lawyers Convention
Eric R. Claeys, Matt Leggett, Nicholas A. Robinson, David Schoenbrod, Steven Colloton November 19, 2015

Environmental law and policy raise profound questions about Congress's role and responsibilities. Many environmental regulatory statutes leave the Environmental Protection Agency with broad discretion. Although these grants of discretion create flexibility and take advantage of EPA expertise, they also invite congressional passivity, create administrative problems, and increase special-interest pressures on the EPA and Congress alike. Congressional-EPA relations matter now more than ever because many major federal environmental laws are now more than 40 years old. The EPA is using currently enabling language from old environmental organic acts to regulate global climate change and other cutting-edge problems. What are the proper relations between Congress and the EPA? If these relations are out of alignment, can Congress realign them and how? Panelists will explore these questions with examples ranging from hydrofracturing through clean water and clean air regulation.

Environmental Law: The Role of Congress in Environmental Law
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
East Room

  • Prof. Eric R. Claeys, Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
  • Mr. Matt Leggett, Policy Counsel on Energy, Environment, and Agriculture, U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee
  • Prof. Nicholas A. Robinson, University Professor on the Environment, and Kerlin Professor Emeritus, Pace University School of Law
  • Prof. David Schoenbrod, Trustee Professor of Law, New York Law School
  • Moderator: Hon. Steven M. Colloton, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Overreach in the States - Event Audio/Video

2015 National Lawyers Convention
Adam Laxalt, William H. Pryor Jr., Adam J. White, Leonard A. Leo November 18, 2015

This panel of current and former state Attorneys General will examine the relationship between the federal and state governments, vertical separation of powers, as well as the regulatory regime within states. Many state AG offices are litigating more, and more important cases, than ever before. A recent spate of lawsuits has pitted a fair number of states against the federal government, challenging underlying federal authority for discreet actions taken. Meanwhile, laws and regulations by state government actors, including business licensing and other regulations governing business and employment, are being challenged by others, often defended by state Attorneys General. The panel will discuss and debate these and other emerging challenges.

Special Session: Overreach in the States
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Grand Ballroom

  • Hon. Adam Laxalt, Attorney General, State of Nevada
  • Hon. William H. Pryor Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • Moderator: Mr. Adam J. White, Counsel, Boyden Gray & Associates
  • Introduction: Mr. Leonard A. Leo, Executive Vice President, The Federalist Society

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

The Role of Congress and the State: A Governor's Perspective - Event Audio/Video

2015 National Lawyers Convention
Sam Brownback, Nathan Deal, Pete Ricketts, Scott Walker, William Kristol, David M. McIntosh November 18, 2015

This panel was held during the 2015 National Lawyers Convention Annual Dinner on Thursday, November 12, 2015, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.

The Role of Congress and the State: A Governor's Perspective
7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Omni Shoreham Hotel - Regency Ballroom

  • Hon. Sam Brownback, Governor, State of Kansas
  • Hon. Nathan Deal, Governor, State of Georgia
  • Hon. Pete Ricketts, Governor, State of Nebraska
  • Hon. Scott Walker, Governor, State of Wisconsin
  • Moderator: Mr. William Kristol, Editor, The Weekly Standard
  • Introduction: Hon. David M. McIntosh, President, Club for Growth and Vice Chairman, The Federalist Society

Omni Shoreham Hotel
Washington, DC

Agency Rule: How Congress Can Reclaim its Legislative Authority - Event Audio/Video

2015 National Lawyers Convention
Tom A. Coburn, Christopher C. DeMuth, Jonathan R. Turley, Michael Uhlmann, A. Raymond Randolph, Eileen J. O'Connor November 17, 2015

Lawmakers are quick to complain about government agencies exceeding their authority. While some complaint is justified, Congress itself contributes to the problem. From delegating too much discretion to agencies, to not taking action to rein them in, Congress has contributed enormously to today's Administrative Leviathan. The judiciary also plays a major role. Judicial deference to agency interpretations permits agencies to develop rules that are neither supported by Congressional findings, nor grounded in statutory text. As we have seen recently, even when Congress has the will to reassert its legislative authority, as by opposing a rule, obstacles can prevent it, such as a Presidential veto. The biggest losers in this state of affairs are the American people. Contrary to Constitutional design, Americans have significant laws imposed upon them not by their representatives, but by unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats. What remedies can Congress employ to rein in the Administrative State/Executive Branch overreach? How can it stop contributing to the problem? Is judicial deference to agencies compatible with Congress's over-delegation to them? Does this combination properly respect Congressional lawmaking responsibility? This panel will explore the current state of these trends that are undermining separation of powers and our representative democracy.

Administrative Law: Agency Rule: How Congress Can Reclaim its Legislative Authority
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
State Room

  • Hon. Tom Coburn, Former United States Senator, Oklahoma
  • Mr. Christopher C. DeMuth, Distinguished Fellow, Hudson Institute
  • Prof. Jonathan Turley, J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law, The George Washington University Law School
  • Prof. Michael Uhlmann, Claremont Graduate University
  • Moderator: Hon. A. Raymond Randolph, U.S Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
  • Introduction: Hon. Eileen J. O'Connor, Partner, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Campbell-Ewald Company v. Gomez - Post-Argument SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 11-11-15 featuring Mark Chenoweth
Mark Chenoweth November 11, 2015

On October 14, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Campbell-Ewald Company v. Gomez.

This case concerns a complaint by Jose Gomez that Campbell-Ewald Company, a marketing consultant for the U.S. Navy, allowed a third-party vendor to send him unsolicited text messages in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. 

Three questions are before the Court. The first is whether a case becomes moot when a plaintiff receives an offer of complete relief on his claim, and the second is whether the answer to that changes if the plaintiff is attempting to bring a class action. The third question is whether the doctrine of derivative sovereign immunity for government contractors is limited to claims arising out of property damage caused by public works projects.

To discuss the case, we have Mark Chenoweth, who is General Counsel at Washington Legal Foundation.