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Dear Friends,
 
As September begins, we are excited to share current activities at the Gray Center and what we've been up to during the month of August. With a new school year underway, we are thrilled to see students back on campus at Scalia Law. The entering class this year is more than sixty percent larger than the previous year, and the campus is teeming with enthusiastic aspiring attorneys.
 
The Gray Center continues to facilitate one-of-a-kind learning experiences at the law school. This summer, Justice Brett Kavanaugh co-taught a seminar with Professor Jennifer Mascott on the most recent Supreme Court Term. The seminar provided students with instruction on core aspects of constitutional law that the Supreme Court addressed this past year and covered methods of constitutional and statutory interpretation as applied in several of the Court’s most recent key opinions. 
 
Now with the fall semester underway, Jenn and former Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, Steve Engel, are co-teaching a newly created seminar on “Separation of Powers in the Political Branches.” Students will study a wide range of cases and scholarship addressing the constitutional roles of the executive and legislative branches and conflicts between those two branches, including works by Akhil Amar, Sai Prakash, Michael McConnell, and many others. This coming spring, Justice Thomas will return to the law school to co-teach a seminar on the history and foundations of the administrative state with Jenn. 
 
And for the broader community, we are planning several special public events for the fall. We hope you can join us on September 17 at our Memorial Symposium for Judge Stephen F. Williams, to hear a collection of experts describe the late Judge Williams’s writings on administrative law, the Constitution, liberal democracy, and more. Keynote remarks will be offered by Judge Douglas Ginsburg, who originally created this symposium with Scalia Law’s then-Dean Henry Butler and Professor Michael Greve. The event will take place at the Historic Decatur House in Washington, D.C., and will be live-streamed and recorded for those unable to attend in-person. Please click here to register.
 
On October 1, the Center will host a Conference on “Presidential Administration in a Polarized Era.” Discussions will cover a wide range of topics, including presidential polarization, current issues in executive power and administration, and analysis of the staying power of Justice Kagan’s landmark article theorizing “Presidential Administration” after 20 years. In June, scholars presented seven new papers on these issues at a research roundtable; now the authors will return to discuss those papers with other experts. We will also hear from Sai Prakash and John Yoo who will discuss their recent books on presidential power and evidence on the historical understanding of the constitutional scope of executive power. Judge Neomi Rao, who was the Gray Center’s founding Director before her appointment to OIRA and the D.C. Circuit, will keynote the event.
 
Then, on October 21, the Center will co-host a Conference on Justice Thomas’s Thirty-Year Legacy on the Court. This event is a joint effort with the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, and will be held at the Heritage Foundation. Please be on the lookout for our keynote speaker announcement and registration information, coming in September—you won’t want to miss this event!
 
Finally, if you haven’t already heard the Center’s podcast, “Gray Matters,” now would be a good time to subscribe. We have a variety of conversations planned for the months ahead. In the next episode, a few weeks from now, Professor Mascott will discuss her vision for the Gray Center, her recent writings and current research, her career in government and how it impacted her view of administrative law, and much more. Be sure to tune in. You can listen and subscribe to our podcast on iTunesSpotifyStitcher, or wherever else you listen to podcasts.
 
Lastly, the Center is looking to expand, and plans to hire several Student Fellows this year. Interested applicants should send a resume to Professor Mascott (jmascott@gmu.edu) and Professor White (awhite36@gmu.edu).

All the best,

Adam White and Jennifer Mascott
Co-Executive Directors
The C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State
Center of Activity:
Upcoming Events

Register for our Sept. 17 Memorial Symposium for Judge Stephen F. Williams (pictured left, speaking at a 2020 Gray Center conference)

The symposium honoring the late judge will take place Friday, September 17, 2021 at the Historic Decatur House in Washington, DC. Register Now>>

Save the Date for our Oct. 1 Conference on Presidential Administration in a Polarized Era

The conference will be held Friday, October 1, 2021 at the Historic Decatur House in Washington, DC. Registration will be opening soon!

Save the Date for our Oct. 21 Symposium on Justice Thomas's Thirty-Year Legacy on the Court

The symposium will take place Thursday, October 21, 2021 at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC. Registration will be opening soon!

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If you don't already receive our email invitations in your inbox, click below to sign up so you'll be notified once registration goes live for each of our events.
Team Highlights

Professor Jennifer Mascott Testifies Before Senate Judiciary Committee

On August 3, the Gray Center’s Co-Executive Director, Professor Jennifer Mascott (left), testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Federal Courts, Oversight, Agency Action, and Federal Rights, discussing the principles and practice of executive privilege and congressional oversight. Mark Rozell, a Gray Center Affiliated Faculty Member and Dean of the George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government, also testified. You can access their oral and written testimony here.
Distinguished Work:
Updates on our
Advisory Council,
Affiliated Faculty, and
Distinguished Senior Fellows


  • In The Washington Post, C. Boyden Gray (right), Distinguished Senior Fellow and Advisory Council Member at the Gray Center, argues that that the Biden administration’s executive order that requires publicly traded companies to disclose their “climate risk” is a misuse of the Securities and Exchange Commission that inserts the SEC into climate policy, contra to its congressional mandate.

  • Also in The Washington Post, Gray Center Affiliated Faculty Member, Mark J. Rozell, explains that the upcoming election in Virginia is a test for the political potency of the GOP's "big lie" and anti-vaccine platforms.


  • In a recent episode of FEDtalk, Adam White and Gray Center Distinguished Senior Fellow and Advisory Council Member, Paul Verkuil, join the podcast to discuss the history of the APA and how the law has evolved over the past 75 years.

  • Gray Center Advisory Council Member, Paul Larkin, Jr., recently posted a new co-authored paper on the meaning and application of the Twenty-Seventh Amendment.

  • Two professors at Harvard Law School, Jody Freeman and Matthew Stephenson, have proposed that the Biden administration use the Congressional Review Act in a unique new way to achieve a part of its immigration policy agenda. Both Jonathan Adler, Gray Center Advisory Council member, and Adam White have weighed in (here and here) on whether the text of the CRA would allow for this suggested strategic use.
"Notice and Comment"
Things Worth Reading

 
The CDC “Moratorium Fiasco”: In a recent episode of the Lawfare podcast, Ben Wittes leads a conversation about the CDC’s renewed moratorium for evictions, with Harvard’s Jack Goldsmith and Alan Rozenshtein.
 
“We Need to Rethink” Administrative Remedies “From the Ground Up”: Notre Dame’s Sam Bray flags the latest development in the ongoing issue of nationwide injunctions, and reiterates his call for serious reforms, in the Volokh Conspiracy blog.

Money Grows on Trees: Resources for the Future’s Hannah Drunkenmiller considers the economic value of trees, “based on how tree mortality shapes property values, air quality, wildfire risk, and more,” in a recent episode of Resources for the Future’s podcast.
This newsletter is edited by Molly Doyle,
Associate Director for Communications for the C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State