Notice & Comment

ABA AdLaw Section Member Spotlight Series: Randy May, by Linda Jellum

We thought you might like to learn more about members in the ABA Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice Section, so we have restarted our Section Member Spotlight Series. Prior posts in this series can be found here, on the Section’s legacy Notice and Comment blog that merged with the Yale Journal on Regulation‘s blog in 2015.

The next profile in our member spotlight series is Randolph (Randy) May. Randy is the Founder and President of the Free State Foundation (FSF), located in Rockville, Maryland. FSF is a free market-oriented think tank focusing most heavily on communications and Internet law and policy, with a fair amount of work in the intellectual property area too. Free State Foundation scholars are very involved in various FCC matters, including rulemakings. So, both the substance of regulatory policy as well as administrative procedure are extremely relevant to FSF.

Q: What is your current or past position within the ABA Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice Section?

I am a former Chair of the Section and a former Section Delegate to the House of Delegates. Prior to that, aside from the usual ascension up the chair ladder, I chaired the Publications and Ratemaking Committees.

Q: How has membership in the ABA Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice Section furthered your career?

Being actively involved in the Section’s activities frequently provided me with deeper insights into my legal work outside the ABA – and, therefore, greater problem-solving abilities through fresh approaches. Of course, the friendships made throughout my involvement often have proved helpful, whether just by “picking a Section member’s brain” or asking for a possible introduction. And, finally, and this may sound corny, but it’s true: I was inspired by knowing that I had contributed to the Section’s successes in various ways, and this gave me more confidence than I might otherwise have had to achieve more in other aspects of my life, including my career.

Q: What’s your favorite part of your job?

The favorite part of my job is aspiring to run the FSF in a way that, based on the quality of our work, maximizes its impact on public policy, especially communications law and policy. And if I can slip in a second-most favorite, it’s the ability, even the imperative, to do a lot of writing, which I enjoy.

Q: In your view, why does administrative law matter?

Administrative law plays an absolutely crucial role in furthering the proper governance of our nation under the rule of law by virtue of its ability to foster transparency, effectiveness, and efficiency in government, as well as fostering an understanding of the proper role of the three branches of government in our constitutional system.

Q: What do you do when you are not doing administrative law?

I enjoy reading, and I enjoy writing, often in areas and genres far afield from ad law. So, for example, I have published several short stories and poems, and I’d like to do more of that when I “retire.”

Q: What’s your favorite Supreme Court Justice, provision of the APA, or administrative law doctrine?

If I said my favorite ad law doctrine is something other than Chevron that might lead some to question my bonafides, right? But throwing expectations to the wind, I’ll say the nondelegation doctrine. I do think the Supreme Court should revivify it by engaging in a “hard look” with a bit more teeth to help ensure that laws delegating authority contain a discernible “intelligible principle.” 

Want to join the section? Visit and choose “Join the Section.” Or contact the ABA customer service department at 1-800-285-2221 to join. Questions?

Linda D. Jellum is Past Chair of the ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice and the Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development and the Ellison Capers Palmer Sr. Professor of Tax Law at the Mercer University School of Law.

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