Trends in Government Priorities, 1960 – 2019

Eileen J. O'Connor

May 15, 2018

A new report – by Susan Dudley of the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center and Melinda Warren of the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy at Washington University in St. Louis – shows that President Trump plans to increase regulatory activity for border security and immigration in 2019, and to dramatically reduce the budgets of agencies involved in environmental regulation.

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Celebrating Law Day

J. Kennerly Davis, Jr.

May 1, 2018

Today marks the 60th anniversary of President Eisenhower’s proclamation establishing Law Day. Eisenhower dedicated the day to “distinguish our governmental system from the type of government that rules by might alone.”

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Will OIRA Extend its Review to Independent Agencies?

Susan Dudley and Eileen J. O'Connor

April 26, 2018

At the Federalist Society’s Sixth Annual Executive Branch Review Conference, Office of information and Regulatory Affairs (“OIRA”) Administrator Neomi Rao spoke about the new agreement she had hammered out with the Treasury Department to bring OIRA’s review of IRS regulations more in line with its review of other agencies’ regulations. She also strongly hinted that independent regulatory agencies may be next, observing that “OIRA review can promote a more constitutional and coherent regulatory policy,” and that the “good regulatory practices promoted by OIRA can apply to all agencies that regulate the public.” In her latest Forbes column, Susan Dudley agrees.  She argues that OIRA review encourages greater transparency, analytical rigor, and accountability in regulations, and urges the Administration to extend long-standing executive orders requiring OIRA review to all agencies that issue regulations binding on the public.

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Public Lands: Pride, Place, Proximity & Power

Donald Kochan

April 9, 2018

Professor Donald Kochan has a new article on public lands and federalism just published in Volume 25, Issue 1, Page 1, by the Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law. The full article, Public Lands: Pride, Place, Proximity & Power, can be downloaded here. Here is the abstract.

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The Consumer Bureau Asks Congress to Fix It

Wayne A. Abernathy

April 4, 2018

Mulvaney’s basic argument is cogent and refreshing.  In short, he says “the Bureau is far too powerful, and with precious little oversight of its activities.”

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Public Participation and the Power of Persuasion

Brian F. Mannix

March 20, 2018

I care about regulatory policy, and over the years have filed comments on the record in dozens of agency rulemakings. Most of these comments have been ignored, but many have been influential – a few spectacularly so. I cannot say the same about the votes I have cast in federal elections.

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Letter to Congress: Support an Open and Free Internet

Richard Epstein

March 16, 2018

We support a free and open Internet and we oppose utility regulation of the most dynamic communications platform the world has ever seen.  For these reasons, we encourage Congress to oppose the adoption of a CRA resolution to overturn the RIF Order.

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U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Report on Educational Equity – Commentary

Carissa Mulder

March 12, 2018

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights recently released a report entitled, “Public Education Funding Inequity in an Era of Increasing Concentration of Poverty and Resegregation.” The report argues that children from low-income families tend to live in school districts that have less money than children from wealthier families. Despite the report’s emotional language, these funding gaps are not as stark as one might suppose.

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Finding the Value in Financial Failure

Wayne A. Abernathy

March 1, 2018

Title II of Dodd-Frank—written in law as secondary, a recourse to the bankruptcy process—has been criticized by some for being punitive, prone to destroy value, and by others as too vulnerable to use in propping up failed firms that should be removed from the financial playing field.

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Reading Past The Headline In OMB’s Report To Congress

Eileen J. O'Connor

February 28, 2018

As required by the Regulatory Right to Know Act, enacted in 2000, the Office of Management and Budget submits an annual report to Congress outlining the costs and benefits of regulations issued the previous year.  It appears, from the latest report, issued in draft form last Friday, that the benefits of regulations in effect the past ten years are three to eight times their costs.

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