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
Six years after its enactment, Obamacare remains one of the most controversial, divisive, and enduring political issues in America. In this much-anticipated follow-up to his critically acclaimed Unprecedented: The Constitutional Challenge to Obamacare (2013), Professor Blackman argues that, to implement the law, President Obama has broken promises about cancelled insurance policies, exceeded the traditional bounds of executive power, and infringed on religious liberty. At the same time, he writes that conservative opponents have stopped at nothing to unravel Obamacare, including a three-week government shutdown, four Supreme Court cases, and fifty repeal votes. Author Joshua Blackman and Michigan Law Professor Nicholas Bagley joined us to discuss the book and the saga of Obamacare.
Prof. Josh Blackman, Author, Unraveled: Obamacare, Religious Liberty, & Executive Power, Associate Professor of Law, Houston College of Law
Prof. Nicholas Bagley, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School
In 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, but the treaty did not go into effect because the Senate refused to ratify it. Twenty years later, the Obama administration still favors ratification of the treaty as part of its nuclear disarmament strategy. President Obama appears to be attempting to go around the Senate by signing a U.N. Security Council Resolution that would, according to a National Security Council spokesman, “call on states not to test and support the CTBT’s objectives,” but would not be legally binding. Professor Kontorovich of Northwestern University School of Law and Professor Spiro of Temple Law School joined us to debate the international & national security law implications of these actions.
Prof. Eugene Kontorovich, Professor of Law, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
Prof. Peter J. Spiro, Charles R. Weiner Professor of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law
The Antiquities Act of 1906 provides, in part, that “The President may, in the President's discretion, declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated on land owned or controlled by the Federal Government to be national monuments.” 54 U.S.C. §320301(a). Declaring a national monument brings substantial new layers of protected status to the areas or thing so designated, precluding many previously-authorized uses of the area or thing as well. To varying degrees, U.S. Presidents have exercised this authority both during the regular course of their administration and sometimes with heightened vigor at the end, or “midnight hour,” of their final term. Our experts examined the historic use of the Antiquities Act authority and particularly the phenomena of “midnight monument” designations across administrations, including those already completed or anticipated by the now-outgoing Obama Administration. Their analysis included a discussion of the controversial proposal to designate a Bears Ears national monument in Utah in the coming weeks, the historically large expansion in August of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to 582,578 square miles of land and sea, the September 15 designation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, and more.
Prof. Donald J. Kochan, Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development, Chapman University School of Law
Prof. Charles Wilkinson Distinguished Professor, Moses Lasky Professor of Law History and Society in the American West; Indian Law; Public Land Law; Water Law, University of Colorado Law School
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