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Rewiring Regulatory Review

Last month, the Biden Administration released a long-awaited overhaul of the regulatory review process. Although these changes are aimed at a highly technical and behind-the-scenes process, their importance is hard to overstate. From lowering the social discount rate, to providing a method for income weighting, to incorporating hard-to-quantify impacts into agency decision-making, these revisions will affect government policymaking across nearly every domain. They also signal overdue recognition that an inclusive political economy requires a transformation not just in the substance of public policy, but also in its process, in the machinery of how policy is designed, analyzed, coordinated, and ultimately made impactful.

The Institutional Design of Community Control

As the COVID19 pandemic and economic crises continue to ravage the country, it is increasingly clear that the virus is not just a public health challenge: it is also exposing deep systemic failures of governance, and disparities of political power. Black and brown Americans are the most likely to die from this virus, a reflection…

The Democratic Political Economy of Administrative Law

The modern administrative state has always faced ongoing debates about the appropriate balance between administrative authority and procedural constraint. But this moment of debate is about more than just the familiar clashes between “big government” and “free market” visions of political economy. These attacks on the administrative state—and the historical and current efforts to (re)build administrative institutions—are a critical frontline for our substantive moral values of democracy, equality, and inclusion.

Policymaking as power-building

Many of the critical day-to-day governance decisions — from zoning to civil rights enforcement to worker protections, financial regulations, and consumer rights — take place within the administrative state. Without a greater degree of democratic responsiveness and accountability within the administrative process, these substantive rights are unlikely to be vindicated or equitably enforced. This means that policymakers and administrative law scholars alike need to start approaching the task of administrative institutional design with a greater attention to power disparities.

Constitutional Law 101: A Primer for the Law and Political Economy Blog

Part Three: The Substantive Constitution Reconstruction, Freedom, and Nullification: The Battles over the Fourteenth Amendment In 1872, newly-emancipated and enfranchised black Republicans won a wave of elections throughout the country, including in Grant Parish, Louisiana. The election was disputed and the conflict quickly escalated into an armed standoff battle between black Republicans, who occupied the…

Constitutional Law 101: A Primer for the Law and Political Economy blog

Part Two: The Structural Constitution The Basic Structure Suggested readings: Federalist 10, 51 Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803) McCulloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. 316 (1819) Mark Tushnet, Constitutional Hardball, 37 J. Marshall L. Rev. 523, 523-26, 528-29, 535-36, 538-43 (2004) Jack Balkin & Sanford Levinson, Constitutional Crises, 157 U. Penn. L. Rev. 707,…