Presidential Administration in a Polarized Era

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Friday, October 1, 2021

When Elena Kagan published her article on “Presidential Administration” twenty years ago, she analyzed history but also helped to shape constitutional doctrine and narrative. Since then, debates over presidential power in the administrative state become even more nuanced and interesting—and also more urgent. And as political polarization has increasingly exaggerated the pendulum swings of regulatory policy, we face new questions of presidential administration, alongside timeless questions of presidential power.

The twentieth anniversary of now-Justice Kagan’s article is the natural time to look back at recent debates, and to look forward at possible paths for reform. To that end, the Gray Center recently hosted a research roundtable to discuss seven new working papers, on various aspects of presidential administration. The authors discussed their papers with other scholars, and they will present their papers on panels with commentary from other experts. We’ll also be joined by two authors of recent new books on presidential power.

Please note, our event venue currently has a requirement in place that face masks be worn at all times when not actively eating or drinking, so please wear your face mask to the event.


Agenda

All sessions held in the Decatur House’s Carriage House (1610 H St NW, Washington DC 20006)

8:15 – 9:00 am – Registration and Breakfast

9:00 – 9:10 am – Welcome

Christopher J. Walker, John W. Bricker Professor of Law, Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University
Adam White, Co-Executive Director, The C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State; Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

9:10 – 10:20 am – Panel 1: Presidential Administration and Political Polarization

Richard J. Pierce, Jr., Lyle T. Alverson Professor of Law, The George Washington University Law School
Michael Rappaport, Hugh & Hazel Darling Professor of Law & Director of the Center for the Study of Constitutional Originalism, University of San Diego
Kevin M. Stack, Lee S. & Charles A. Professor of Law, Vanderbilt University Law School

Moderator: Melanie M. Marlowe, Senior Associate, Center for Strategic and International Studies

10:20 – 10:30 am – Break

10:30 – 11:40 am – Panel 2: Kagan’s “Presidential Administration” After 20 Years

Ashraf Ahmed, Academic Fellow, Columbia Law School
Kristin Hickman, McKnight Presidential Professor in Law, University of Minnesota
Kathryn Kovacs, Professor, Rutgers Law School

Moderator: Adam White, Co-Executive Director, The C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State; Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

11:40 – 11:50 am – Break

11:50 am – 1:20 pm – Lunch & Keynote Conversation, Carriage House Courtyard

Judge Neomi Rao, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

1:20 – 1:30 pm – Break

1:30 – 2:40 pm – Panel 3: Current Issues in Presidential Administration & Executive Power

Brian D. Feinstein, Assistant Professor of Legal Studies, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Zachary Price, Harry & Lillian Hastings Research Chair, University of California Hastings College of the Law
Bijal Shah, Associate Professor of Law, Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

Moderator: Christopher J. Walker, John W. Bricker Professor of Law, Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University

2:40 – 2:50 pm – Break

2:50 – 4:00 pm – Panel 4: The Constitutional Presidency: Two New Books

Julian Davis Mortenson, James G. Phillipp Professor of Law, University of Michigan
Saikrishna Prakash, James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law, Albert Clark Tate, Jr., Professor of Law, Senior Fellow, Miller Center, University of Virginia
John Yoo, Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law, University of California at Berkeley; Nonresident Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute; Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution

Moderator: Jennifer Mascott, Assistant Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University; Co-Executive Director, The C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State

4:00 – 5:00 pm – Reception, Carriage House Courtyard

5:00 pm – Adjourn