Full Size CSAS Logo
Dear friends, 

The Gray Center enjoyed seeing many of you at the Center's first Annual Gray Lecture on the Administrative State. We are thankful that Justice Neil Gorsuch joined us to discuss the values of self-government along with his jurisprudential approach to separation of powers questions and the impact of the administrative state on people in their daily lives.

In the panel discussion following Justice Gorsuch's remarks, professors John Harrison, Aaron Nielson, and Aditya Bamzai highlighted tensions between conceptions of the unitary executive and the legal doctrines related to a concept of administrative agency independence. 

Then, in early April, we cohosted a Religious Liberty and Law conference with the Ethics & Public Policy Center. Our panelists examined complexities related to religious liberty and broad administrative agency action and discussed cases before the US Supreme Court this term involving free speech and the First Amendment Religion Clauses, followed by a fireside chat between former Solicitor General Paul Clement and Ed Whelan. More details follow below in the monthly newsletter.

We hope you will join us for our public policy events still to come this spring. On April 25, we will be joined by Federal Trade Commissioner Noah Phillips, former Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen, and academics and policy experts to discuss the FTC's broad use of its rulemaking authority. Then, on May 25, we will host a conference on Capitol Hill exploring the congressional role in regulating executive branch agencies and policies.

Thank you for your interest in the Gray Center's initiatives and academic research. More to come via podcast, our paper series, and public conferences this summer and fall.

All the best, 
Adam White & Jenn Mascott
Co-Executive Directors
The Gray Center
Sign Up Below to Receive Our Event Invitations >>

More Gray Center events coming soon!

April 25: FTC Rulemaking: Untapped Power or Cautionary Tale?
Co-hosted with the Law & Economics Center, Scalia Law School
@The Conrad Hotel, Washington DC

May 25: Capitol Hill Public Policy Conference

September 9: Antitrust Conference

Don't receive our email invitations in your inbox? Click below to sign up so we can notify you as soon as we open registration for each event.
Separation of Powers Clinic Update

During the April 19 oral arguments in George v. McDonough, Justice Gorsuch asked questions about a brief the clinic filed for US Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee. The case involves veterans benefits and the brief filed by Clinic Director McCotter and Prof. Mascott argues that the court should uphold separation of powers principles and reject the idea that a regulation made by an Article II agency can be treated like an Article I law and an Article III declaration of the meaning of that law. Read the brief here.

The clinic also filed a brief in Torres v. Texas Department of Public Safety, arguing that Texas retains sovereign immunity in the case and that congressional war powers do not override the sovereign immunity of states. Read the brief here.

Now Streaming and Podcasting:

Subscribe to our podcast and our YouTube channel so you don't miss any Gray Center programming
Jenn Mascott spoke with Steven A. Engel, the Gray Center's Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist Distinguished Practitioner in Residence, about the Supreme Court's February sitting, focusing in particular on Egbert v. Boule and when government officers should be subject to lawsuits.

Adam White interviewed Andrew Pincus about Community Housing Improvement Program v. City of New York. Pincus is lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the case, who argue that New York's Rent Stabilization Law violates the Due Process and Takings clauses of the US Constitution.

Adam White testified before the US Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee about the confirmation process for presidential appointees and how senators can provide effective oversight of agencies. Read his testimony here.

The inaugural Gray Lecture on the Administrative State Panel Discussion, The Future of Independent Agencies After Seila and Collins, is now available as a podcast. Watch a video of the discussion, here.

Jenn Mascott testified about originalism before the US Senate Judiciary Committee during Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's US Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Read her testimony here.

The Gray Center co-hosted a conference on Religious Liberty & Law, featuring two panel discussions about how government regulation interacts with religious liberty and how the US Supreme Court might handle upcoming religious liberty cases.
  • Watch the first panel, with Matt Bowman, Andrea R. Lucas, and Roger T. Severino discussing administrative threats to religious liberty, moderated by Judge Trevor N. McFadden, here.
  • Watch the second panel, featuring commentary about past and future religious liberty cases before the US Supreme Court from Nathan Lewin, Erin E. Murphy, Mark Rienzi, and Marc D. Stern, moderated by Steven A. Engel, here.
Religious Liberty & Law

At our April 8 Religious Liberty & Law event, 43rd Solicitor General of the United States and Gray Center Justice Joseph Story Distinguished Practitioner in Residence Paul Clement spoke with Ed Whelan of the Ethics & Public Policy Center about his experience defending religious liberty in cases before the US Supreme Court.
Watch their discussion here.
Working Papers Series:
Read the Latest

Agency Independence After Seila and Collins
Submerged Independent Agencies by Brian D. Feinstein
& Jennifer Nou

Congress's Anti-Removal Power by Aaron L. Nielson &
Christopher J. Walker

Forthcoming in the Supreme Court Review
Executive Decisions After Arthrex by Jenniffer Mascott
& John F. Duffy

Congress's Power of the Purse in the Administrative State
Oversight Riders by Kevin M. Stack & Michael P. Vandenbergh
Oversight & Separation of Powers Briefing Series

The Gray Center's Article I Venture provided a series of six presentations for congressmen and their staff focused on how to strengthen congressional authority over public policy. Read the session materials here.

"Notice and Comment"
Things Worth Reading

Defining "Waters of the United States": PLF cited Susan Parker Bodine's Gray Center policy brief about the historical context of the term "Waters of the United States" in its petitioners' brief in Sackett v. EPA.

Guidance Documents and Antitrust: In The Regulatory Review, Richard J. Pierce, Jr. wrote about how new guidelines for corporate mergers might face tougher scrutiny from courts in light of recent court opinions that were less deferential to agency guidance.

"Antitrust Reform and the Nirvana Fallacy: The Case Against a New Sherman Act": Joshua D. Wright and Jennifer Cascone Fauver wrote an article, forthcoming in the Columbia Business Law Review, arguing against calls for new legislation to promote competition.

"Draft Report on Contractors in Rulemaking": Bridget C.E. Dooling and Rachel Augustine Potter published a draft report for ACUS examining the role that private contractors play in the rulemaking process.

New Rules for Charter School Grants: Will Marshall and Tressa Pankovits published a report for the Progressive Policy Institute, arguing that newly proposed regulations will increase federal control of public charter schools.

"The SEC Lacks Legal Authority to Adopt Climate-Change Disclosure Rules": Andrew N. Vollmer filed a comment with the SEC, arguing that Congress has not empowered the agency to require public companies to make disclosures on topics related to climate change.
This newsletter is edited by Mike Tyrrell, Communications Assistant & Jace Lington, Research Director