Notice & Comment

D.C. Circuit Review – Reviewed: The Presidential Medal of Freedom

This will be a quick post; I’m traveling today.

A couple of days ago, USA Today ran an op-ed urging President Trump to award Judge James Buckley the Presidential Medal of Freedom. That op-ed reminded me of a post I wrote in 2018.* Judge Buckley has lived an extraordinary life and certainly merits recognition.

Notably, though, he would not be the first judge on the D.C. Circuit to receive the Medal of Freedom. Assuming Wikipedia is accurate, Chief Justice Burger and Justice Scalia also both received the honor (although Scalia received it posthumously). Judges Mikva, Silberman, and Wald received it too.

Why not add Judge Buckley — who will turn 97 in a couple of weeks — to that list?

The D.C. Circuit decided two cases this week. Pigford v. Perdue does not really touch on administrative law, but here is the intro:

The other case, however, certainly does touch on administrative law. In NTCH, Inc. v. FCC, the per curiam panel — “TATEL, GARLAND, and GRIFFITH, Circuit Judges” — addressed three FCC decisions:

I want to focus on the panel’s waiver analysis. As regular readers know, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about regulatory waivers. This issue is important and merits more attention. Unfortunately, the Court had no occasion to dive deeply into waiver, at least not yet:

We’ll see what happens on remand; this issue may very well come back to the D.C. Circuit.

Although not waiver-related, this paragraph also caught my attention:

Law students: if you are interested, I bet an interesting article could be written about the the scope and limits of the “Whittle Away Doctrine.”  

And with that, I need to return to the fascinating symposium on administrative law hosted by the Hastings Law Journal.

* Unfortunately, as a consequence of this site’s updated appearance, some of the content from that post is not yet available. But I’m assured it is coming. If you can’t wait to read more about Judge Buckley, this link is a good place to start.

D.C. Circuit Review – Reviewed is designed to help you keep track of the nation’s “second most important court” in just five minutes a week.

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