It’s often said that “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” And this certainly is true of the history of administrative law: many of the issues we debate today, on the structure of agencies, the procedures that agencies should undertake, and the judicial review that agencies should take, echo strongly the debates of past decades.
Which is why those debating regulatory reform today would do well to look back at the Hoover Commissions — that is, the “Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government,” convened in 1947 by President Truman, and then a similar body convened in 1953 by President Eisenhower. Each was directed by the Presidents’ predecessor, Herbert Hoover.
Last year marked the 60th anniversary of the Second Hoover Commission’s final report, Legal Services and Procedure. The report recommended significant reforms on questions ranging from the separation of adjudicatory and other functions within an agency to the right to counsel before an agency.
Many of the questions raised by the Hoover Commissions continue to be asked today. And thus the ABA’s Administrative Law Section and the Hoover Institution are pleased to co-host conference next week, on March 16, in Washington, D.C., looking back at the Hoover Commissions and ahead to the future of regulatory reform. The event is free to all—you can register here.
The full agenda is listed below (and is available on the sign-up page). We begin with a panel discussion looking back at the Hoover Commissions, especially the Second Commission’s Legal Services and Procedure report. Then FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen will offer a “regulator’s perspective,” followed by a panel on current reform debates. And finally, we will hear keynote remarks from Senator Orrin Hatch, former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a longtime voice on constitutional and regulatory issues, and close with a reception.
The March 16 event will be hosted by the Hoover Institution, at its Johnson Center in downtown Washington, D.C. Again, full details and RSVP information are available online, and the event is free to all.
2:00pm – 3:15pm: Panel 1- The Second Hoover Commission’s Report on Legal Services and Procedure
– David Davenport (Hoover Institution)
– Joanna Grisinger (Northwestern University-Legal Studies Program)
– Paul Verkuil (former chairman, ACUS)
– Moderator — Nicholas Parrillo (Yale Law School; Chairman, Section’s Committee on Legal History)
3:15pm – 3:45pm: A Regulator’s Perspective
4:00pm – 5:15pm: Panel 2 – Current Debates on Regulatory Reform
– Maryam Brown (U.S. House of Representatives, Assistant to the Speaker for Policy)
– Christopher DeMuth (Hudson Institute)
– Robert Glicksman (George Washington University Law School)
– Adam White (Hoover Institution; Co-Chairman, Section’s Committee on Judicial Review)
– Moderator — Jeffrey Rosen (Chairman, ABA Section of Administrative Law)
5:15pm – 5:30pm: Keynote Remarks – Senator Orrin Hatch
5:30pm – 6:30pm: Reception