Administrative agencies are comprised of numerous components and employ tens of thousands of individuals with varying ideas about what the law requires and what policies best serve the public interest.  Individually or collectively, agency officials and employees may disagree with all or parts of congressionally-enacted laws, with rules and regulations adopted by prior administrations, or with the regulatory and enforcement priorities of their own politically-appointed agency leaders.  They may even question the legitimacy of those political appointments.  

Government resources are finite: enforcement priorities and resource allocation decisions are primarily within the authority of the Executive Branch.  Does permitting agency personnel, whether high ranking or low, to decide to selectively enforce or not enforce laws on the basis of their policy preferences or perceptions of legitimacy turn our government away from the rule of law and toward the rule of man? 

As part of the 2017 National Lawyers Convention, the Federalist Society’s Administrative Law and Regulation Practice Group will host a panel discussion on The Administrative State and Its Discontents. Composed of distinguished professors, writers, and judges, the panel will discuss the extent of leeway agencies have in implementing federal law, the source of that leeway, in whom is it vested, and the consequences of exceeding it.  

The panel will feature:

  • Prof. Michael McConnell, Richard and Frances Mallery Professor of Law, Director of the Constitutional Law Center; Stanford Law School and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institute
  • Mr. Stuart S. Taylor Jr., Contributing Editor, National Journal
  • Prof. Jonathan Turley, J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law; Director of the Environmental Law Advocacy Center; Executive Director, Project for Older Prisoners, The George Washington University Law School
  • Prof. Michael Uhlmann, Professor of Government, Claremont Graduate University
  • Moderator: Hon. A. Raymond Randolph, United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

What can agency personnel do when their agency refuses to administer laws for which it is responsible, or enforces laws they consider unlawful or ill advised?  What recourse do Congress or the courts have if the Executive Branch will not follow their commands?  Join the panel on Saturday, November 18 from 11:00 – 12:30 PM in the State Room of The Mayflower Hotel to entertain these questions and more as the National Lawyers Convention pursues its theme of Administrative Agencies and the Regulatory State.

Click here to consult the convention schedule. To watch the convention live stream, visit this page beginning November 16.