Notice & Comment

Administrative Law Conference in DC, 2/9: Ensuring Democratic Accountability in the Administrative State

On Thursday, February 8, 2023, there’s a terrific law review symposium in Washington, DC, on democratic accountability in the administrative state. Shoba Wadhia and I will be presenting our new working paper on democratic accountability and modes of regulatory policymaking. Definitely join us if you’re in DC and have time.

Here are the details from the organizers:

Pacific Legal Foundation’s Center for the Separation of Powers and Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy cordially invite you to a law symposium.

Ensuring Democratic Accountability in the Administrative State
February 9, 2023
The Mayflower Hotel, Autograph Collection

1127 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036
9:00 a.m. EST – 5:00 p.m. EST

The Constitution’s Framers understood that the president cannot run the executive branch alone and would need a staff to manage it. Yet they carefully crafted several constitutional provisions to ensure accountability to the people, including the Appointments Clause, which requires all principal or superior officers to be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. All inferior officers must be appointed in the same manner unless Congress, by law, vests the appointment in the president alone, in courts, or in department heads. Moreover, the Supreme Court has held that only officers appointed in this manner may exercise significant authority under the laws of the United States. This significant authority includes the task of filling gaps left by Congress in the laws an agency is charged with administering.

Congress’ tendency  in recent decades to enact laws with broad mandates and few regulatory details has left enormous discretionary gaps for agencies to fill. Such broad congressional delegations have led to an explosion of agency regulations that dwarf the number of statutes passed by Congress each year. That makes democratic accountability of the regulatory decision makers even more important.

Join us for a day-long discussion on these issues, led by our moderators and panelists.

  • 8:15-9:00 a.m. Registration and Informal Breakfast
  • 9:00-9:05 a.m. Welcome and Introduction
  • 9:05-10:30 a.m. Who are “Officers of the United States” and Why Does That Matter?
    • Moderator: Judge Chad Readler
    • Tommy Berry
    • Damien Schiff
    • Lucas Vebber
  • 10:30-10:40 a.m. Break
  • 10:40 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Is Direct Accountability Good Enough for Government Work?
    • Moderator: Judge Zachary Somers
    • Joshua Galperin
    • Shoba Wadhia 
    • Chris Walker
  • 12:00-1:45 p.m. Lunch
  • Keynote Address: Kannon Shanmugam
  • 1:45-2:00 p.m. Break
  • 2:00-3:20 p.m. When Remedies Aren’t Remedial
    • Moderator: Judge Paul Matey
    • Ronald Cass
    • Sarah Harris
    • Michael Poon
  • 3:20-4:45 p.m. Policy Solutions to Increase Accountability
    • Moderator: Judge Trevor McFadden
    • Richard Pierce
    • Paul Ray
    • Alison Somin
  • 4:45-5:00 p.m. Concluding Thoughts 
  • 5:00-6:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception

For questions regarding the symposium, please contact Elizabeth Slattery at

Print Friendly, PDF & Email