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Roundtable at APSA 2016: Congress, Delegation, and the Administrative State

Friday, September 02, 08:00 AMPhiladelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel
Room 410
Philadelphia, PA

The Federalist Society's Faculty Division will host a roundtable discussion, titled "Congress, Delegation, and the Administrative State," at the 2016 American Political Science Association's Annual Meeting in Philadelphia on September 2nd. We invite anyone planning to attend the conference to join us for what promises to be an excellent discussion featuring:

  • Lee Drutman, New America Foundation & The Johns Hopkins University
  • Gordon Lloyd, Pepperdine University & Ashbrook Center
  • Daniel H. Lowenstein, UCLA School of Law
  • Neomi Rao, George Mason University Antonin Scalia School of Law
  • Moderator: Michael Uhlmann, Claremont Graduate University

If you plan to attend, please email to let us know.

Abstract: In Federalist 51, Madison explained that the Constitution’s division of powers was designed not only to assign different powers to different branches, but also to design the branches so that each would have the necessary tools to protect its own authority. Doing this would enable ambition to counteract ambition and thus protect against “a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department.” Madison also believed that the branch most likely to try to encroach on the other branches was the legislature, because “In republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates.” 
It therefore might come as something of a surprise that over the course of the past century, Congress has voluntarily ceded (in function if not also in form) considerable control over national governance to a variety of executive branch and/or independent agencies, to the point that it has arguably not only ceded much of its natural primacy in domestic affairs but has also found it difficult to reassert itself on many major questions – including even through its clearest trump card, the power of the purse. Why has Congress passed on much of its authority to the executive branch and to administrative agencies? Was Madison simply wrong about the inherent powers of the legislative branch? Has the institution of Congress developed practices that are not compatible with the text of the Constitution? Does this account for its weakness? What does it mean to serve productively as a member of the House or Senate? Can Congress reassert its authority over the administrative state? To what extent are these issues unique to the United States or simply part of the speed at which decisions must get made in the 21st century, given the velocity of modern transportation and communications? Is legislative leadership in domestic affairs still possible under these conditions? Is it desirable? This roundtable will explore these and related questions.

Supreme Court Preview: What Is in Store for October Term 2016?

Co-Sponsored by the Faculty Division and the Practice Groups Tuesday, September 27, 12:00 PMNational Press Club
529 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20045

October 4th will mark the first day of oral arguments for the 2016 Supreme Court term. The Court's docket already includes major cases involving insider trading, the Fourth Amendment, the Sixth Amendment, the Eighth Amendment, criminal law, IP and patent law, the Free Exercise and Equal Protection Clauses, the Fair Housing Act, and voting rights.

The full list of cases granted thus far for the upcoming term can be viewed on SCOTUSblog here. The panelists will also discuss the current composition and the future of the Court.


  • Mr. Thomas C. Goldstein, Goldstein & Russell PC
  • Prof. Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Georgetown Law Center
  • Ms. Carrie Severino, Judicial Crisis Network
  • Hon. George J. Terwilliger, McGuireWoods LLP
  • Moderator: Mr. Robert Barnes, The Washington Post

2016 National Lawyers Convention

The Jurisprudence and Legacy of Justice Scalia Thursday, November 17, 12:00 AMThe Mayflower Hotel
1127 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036

The 2016 National Lawyers Convention is scheduled for Thursday, November 17 through Saturday, November 19 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. The topic of this year's convention is: The Jurisprudence and Legacy of Justice Scalia. Registration is now open!

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