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Congressional Oversight - Audio/Video

Third Annual Executive Branch Review Conference
Jonathan H. Adler, Michael D. Bopp, Sally Katzen, Adam J. White, Todd F. Gaziano June 24, 2015

After delegating significant power to the administrative state, is Congress properly discharging its oversight role? Are there tools available to Congress that are underutilized? Would a proper annual budget process help? Are Congress’ oversight hearings meaningful, well-run, and properly focused? Should Congress be requesting more information from agencies through other avenues?

This panel was presented on June 18, 2015, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC during the Third Annual Executive Branch Review Conference.

Plenary Panel: Congressional Oversight
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Promenade Room

  • Prof. Jonathan H. Adler, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
  • Mr. Michael D. Bopp, Gibson Dunn and Crutcher
  • Prof. Sally Katzen, New York University School of Law
  • Mr. Adam J. White, Boyden Gray & Associates
  • Moderator: Hon. Todd F. Gaziano, Pacific Legal Foundation

June 18, 2015
Washington, DC

The Incentives Behind Congressional Delegation - Audio/Video

Third Annual Executive Branch Review Conference
Jack Beermann, Gillian E. Metzger, Neomi Rao, Dean A. Reuter June 24, 2015

In administrative law the focus has primarily been on how to constrain executive discretion. It may, however, be equally important to consider how to constrain the delegations that create that discretion—not just by telling Congress to “do its job,” but by thinking about how to shift the incentives that members have for delegation. This panel will consider what Congress gains by delegating policymaking authority to the executive. The conventional view holds that delegations only expand the power of the executive, ignoring the myriad reasons that Congress chooses to delegate its power. Members of Congress may realize a variety of benefits from delegation, including control over how agencies exercise their discretion. Panelists will discuss the reasons why Congress delegates so broadly and consider what legal and political solutions might curb such delegations.

Luncheon Panel: The Incentives behind Congressional Delegation
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
State Room

  • Prof. Jack M. Beermann, Boston University School of Law
  • Prof. Gillian E. Metzger, Columbia Law School
  • Prof. Neomi J. Rao, George Mason University School of Law
  • Moderator: Mr. Dean A. Reuter, The Federalist Society

June 18, 2015
Washington, DC

Should Federal Law Enjoy a Presumption of Constitutionality? - Audio/Video

Third Annual Executive Branch Review Conference
David M. McIntosh, Clark Neily, M. Edward Whelan III, Thomas B. Griffith June 24, 2015

Does the judiciary owe Congress presumptive deference in reviewing and considering challenges to federal statutes?  If so, what standards should courts impose on those making such challenges?

The historical practice of such presumptive deference, the canon of constitutional avoidance, has been reflected in decades of judicial decisions upholding much Congressional legislation.  However, some believe that, in light of courts' observance of the canon of constitutional avoidance, Congress correspondingly enacts legislation without taking care that such legislation is actually constitutional.

In recent years, Congress is increasingly likely to pass acts that run to hundreds or even thousands of pages.  The bills are typically drafted by staffers, sometimes hastily written and amended at the last moment, and often not read by legislators before votes are cast.  Some bills are passed at the midnight hour, sometimes with provisions for expedited judicial review of the bill's constitutionality, as if Congress is leaving wholly to the judiciary the assessment of a law's constitutionality

Some now assert that, given how Congress enacts legislation, courts should rethink the canon of constitutional avoidance.

Our panel will consider this question and the proper applicability of the canon of constitutional avoidance.

This panel was presented on June 18, 2015, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC during the Third Annual Executive Branch Review Conference.

Plenary Panel: Should Federal Law Enjoy a Presumption of Constitutionality?
11:20 – 12:20 p.m.
East Room

  • Hon. David M. McIntosh, Club for Growth
  • Mr. Clark Neily, Institute for Justice 
  • Mr. M. Edward Whelan III, Ethics and Public Policy Center
  • Moderator: Hon. Thomas B. Griffith, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

June 18, 2015
Washington, DC

Costs and Benefits vs. Smoke and Mirrors - Audio/Video

Third Annual Executive Branch Review Conference
C. Boyden Gray, Michael Livermore, Richard D. Morgenstern, Eugene Scalia, Susan E. Dudley June 24, 2015

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.
East Room

  • Hon. C. Boyden Gray, Boyden Gray & Associates
  • Mr. Michael A. Livermore, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Mr. Richard D. Morgenstern, Resources for the Future
  • Hon. Eugene Scalia, Gibson Dunn and Crutcher
  • Moderator: Hon. Susan E. Dudley, The George Washington University

June 18, 2015
Washington, DC

The Clean Power Plan: A Bridge too Far? - Audio/Video

Third Annual Executive Branch Review Conference
David D. Doniger, Mark DeLaquil, Robert Sussman, Misha Tseytlin, Elana Schor June 23, 2015

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new regulations for CO2 emission reductions from existing power plants. The proposal requires states to implement the Agency’s Clean Power Plan. Proponents argue that it is an essential measure to protect vital natural resources; opponents argue that it will be massively costly and logistically difficult to implement (particularly given the timeframes required in the proposed regulations), and that it robs the states of their sovereign power. Our panel of experts will discuss the underlying legal authority for EPA’s proposal, the appropriate federalism model for regulation of CO2 emissions under the Clean Air Act, and the policy implications.

This panel was presented on June 18, 2015, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC during the Third Annual Executive Branch Review Conference.

The Clean Power Plan: A Bridge too Far?
9:40 – 11:10 a.m.
Promenade Room

  • Mr. David Doniger, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Mr. Mark W. DeLaquil, Baker & Hostetler LLP 
  • Mr. Robert M. Sussman, Sussman & Associates 
  • Mr. Misha Tseytlin, West Virginia Attorney General's Office
  • Moderator: Ms. Elana Schor, Politico

June 18, 2015
Washington, DC