Donald Kochan

Professor of Law and Deputy Executive Director, Law and Economics Center

Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

Donald Kochan

Professor of Law and Deputy Executive Director, Law and Economics Center

Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

Donald Kochan is Professor of Law and Deputy Executive Director of the Law & Economics Center (LEC) at the Antonin Scalia Law School. Before joining the Antonin Scalia Law School faculty, he was the Parker S. Kennedy Professor in Law at Chapman University’s Dale E. Fowler School of Law from 2004 to 2020. From 2003 to 2004, Professor Kochan was an Olin Fellow at the University of Virginia School of Law. During 2002-2003, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at George Mason’s Scalia Law School.

Professor Kochan’s scholarship focuses on areas of property law, constitutional law, administrative law, natural resources and environmental law, tort law, and law & economics. He has published more than 40 scholarly articles and essays in well-regarded law journals, and his work has been cited in dozens of books and in hundreds of published law review articles. Professor Kochan is an elected member of the American Law Institute (ALI); and, he was appointed by ALI in July 2016 to serve as an Adviser to the Restatement of the Law Fourth, Property project. Professor Kochan is a Nonresident Scholar at the Center for the Constitution at Georgetown University Law Center, where he was a Visiting Scholar in residence during Fall 2018.  He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Legal Education.

Professor Kochan received his JD from Cornell Law School, where he was a John M. Olin Scholar in Law and Economics and managing editor of the Cornell International Law Journal. During law school, he also served as editor and executive editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy symposium issues in 1997 and 1998. He received his BA from Western Michigan University, magna cum laude, with majors in both political science and philosophy, where he studied as the John W. Gill Medallion Scholar and was honored as the Presidential Scholar (awarded to the top graduate in the political science department). After graduating from law school, Professor Kochan was a law clerk to The Honorable Richard F. Suhrheinrich of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Following his clerkship, Professor Kochan was an associate with the firm of Crowell & Moring LLP in Washington, D.C., where he specialized in natural resources & environmental law as well as tort, products, and consumer civil litigation & legislative affairs.

Contributions

Deep Dive Episode 128 – Can States Trump Interstate Commerce?

August 27, 2020

Experts explore state laws and regulations that expand states’ reach into national and international affairs, and go on to discuss different interpretations of the Constitution regarding the role of the judiciary in evaluating such laws.

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Deep Dive Episode 82 – A Preview of County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund

November 12, 2019

In this episode, Brianne Gorod, Glenn Roper, and Donald Kochan discuss the implications of the recently argued Supreme Court Case County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, which touched issues of interpretation in the enforcement of the Clean Water Act.

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Agency Rulemaking: Unnecessary Delegation or Indispensable Assistance?

July 19, 2019

On June 18, 2019, the Federalist Society’s Article I Initiative and Regulatory Transparency Project hosted a panel on “Agency Rulemaking: Unnecessary Delegation or Indispensable Assistance?” at the National Press Club in Washington DC.

In his recent article, “Strategic Institutional Positioning: How We Have Come to Generate Environmental Law Without Congress,” Donald Kochan lays out the argument that delegation of authority to agencies serves the interests of both sides of Congress. What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a system? Should specialized bureaucrats do the lion’s share of rulemaking? Or should elected Senators and Congressman, often without the same level of expertise, write the rules that govern our nation?

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Deep Dive Episode 63 – Agency Rulemaking: Unnecessary Delegation or Indispensable Assistance?

July 10, 2019

What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a system? Should specialized bureaucrats do the lion’s share of rulemaking? Or should elected Senators and Congressman, often without the same level of expertise, write the rules that govern our nation? In this episode, experts discuss these questions and more.

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Deep Dive Episode 45 – Export-Terminal Permit-Denial Suit Implicates Federalism and Foreign Commerce

April 19, 2019

This episode deals with a pending lawsuit in the Western District of Washington: Lighthouse Resources v. Inslee. This case, which involves a dispute over permitting construction for a coal export terminal on Washington’s Columbia river, has important implications for disputes between federal and state jurisdiction in environmental law and regulation.

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Waters of the United States: Interpreting the Clean Water Act

December 17, 2018

What is the Clean Water Act? Have historical interpretations of its scope changed over the years? What are the practical effects of those interpretations on the environment, farmers, and landowners? How is this issue relevant today? Donald Kochan and Robert Glicksman explore these questions as they discuss the scope of the Clean Water Act.

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Originally Speaking: Climate Change and Common Law Public Nuisance

Daniel Lungren, Donald Kochan, Patrick Parenteau, Richard Faulk, and John Baker

December 7, 2018

Originally Speaking is a written debate series that approaches a contemporary topic from diverse perspectives. The Federalist Society takes no position and encourages a clear and constructive exchange on the subject. Posts in an OS series chain off of each other in waves, creating a loose stream of dialogue.

The focus of this series is if climate change is eligible for common law public nuisance claims, as articulated in the lawsuits by CA and NY municipalities against several major oil and gas companies. We hope you enjoy this Originally Speaking series.

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Another Court Rules Against Regulation-by-Litigation in Climate Change Public Nuisance Lawsuits

Donald Kochan

July 20, 2018

On July 19, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the lawsuit brought by the City of New York and others against several large oil companies.  The lawsuit claimed those companies were responsible for public and private nuisances under federal common law for the transboundary effects of emissions causing climate change.   These municipality lawsuits for climate change are the subject of a Federalist Society Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group podcast  from  July 3, titled “Municipality Lawsuit on Climate Change and Public Nuisance: Litigation Update.”

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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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Deep Dive Episode 25 – The Commenting Power: Agency Accountability through Public Participation

March 21, 2018

Did you know that you have a say in the U.S. government’s regulatory process? Donald Kochan (Chapman University Fowler School of Law) and Maleka Momand (Argive) discuss the notice and comment rulemaking process in this episode of Fourth Branch.

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High Stakes in “Waters of the United States” Rulemaking

Donald Kochan

October 3, 2017

The WOTUS debate raises a lot of big issues. “Restoring Meaningful Limits to ‘Waters of the United States'” offers a good summary of the stakes involved in getting the definition right.

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