The rule of law, whatever that term describes, is one of the central concepts in Anglo-American jurisprudence. Does the administrative state, either in its operation or in the legal moves necessary for its validation, undermine or support the rule of law? Does modern governmental administration, and modern conditions of life, require some redefinition of the rule of law? Is there a relationship between the rule of law and the separation of powers, and if so, how does the administrative state affect that relationship? This panel, in short, will explore how the administrative state relates to fundamental jurisprudential principles.Panelists:
The administrative state is often defended as a necessary response to modern conditions that make governance through ordinary legislation virtually impossible. Is the administrative process in fact more efficient than legislation (and what is meant in this context by “efficient”)? Do any benefits from the administrative process come at the expense of other values? If the legislative process is subject to gridlock, is gridlock all bad? If capture or influence by interest groups is a problem, is it likely to be a worse problem in agency or legislative settings?
Does congressional abdication contribute to bureaucratic sclerosis, which makes it difficult to start and maintain businesses? Finally, what role do the Court's doctrines play at the intersection of these questions? Is Chevron deference to agencies good? Does the president's control make the administrative state better or worse? Do the Court's doctrines in Bowsher and Chadha give agencies too much power?Panelists:
This panel will address the role of Executive branch officials in making high-level policy decisions, and their relationship to Congress. This is particularly relevant in the context of two recent debates: can the President ignore congressional attempts to strip funding from high-level officials who are not confirmed by the Senate? Is the Obama administration’s use of “czars” constitutional? Moreover, what is the power of the Executive branch to start a war without any authorization from Congress?Panelists:
This debate will focus on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. While specific attention will be given to administrative law issues, including the constitutionality of giving out compliance waivers and of medical expert boards, the discussion will be free-ranging and address all constitutional questions of interest.
Being in Silicon Valley, Stanford is known for its strong focus on intellectual property law and technology more broadly. This panel seeks to ask: what is the relationship between technology and the administrative state? Does technological progress require regulatory guidance? This panel will also consider to what degree development in technology in recent years has been slower than anticipated and whether the administrative state has been an asset or a hindrance to the effective utilization of technology.
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