Answering the Chief Justice’s Call on the Antiquities Act

Date: July 12, 2024
Location: Arlington, VA
Time: All Day, beginning 9:00 a.m. EDT

Pacific Legal Foundation seeks papers for a research roundtable on “Answering the Chief Justice’s Call on the Antiquities Act” to be held this July at our offices in Arlington, Virginia.

In a 2021 statement accompanying the Supreme Court’s order denying certiorari in Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association v. Raimondo, Chief Justice John Roberts made an open solicitation for “other and better opportunities” to consider “what standard might guide our review of the President’s actions” under the Antiquities Act. The Chief Justice’s call to the bar is overdue.

Applicable Research Topics

We seek papers that answer Chief Justice Roberts’s call.

  1. We are looking for ideas that get directly to the query posed by Chief Justice Roberts: “What standard might guide [the Court’s] review of the President’s actions” under the Antiquities Act?
    Between hard-look review and no review, there must be some alternative. We are looking for proposed frameworks to fill this crucial gap in the law.
  2. Is it possible to give meaning to the Act’s “smallest area compatible” requirement without upsetting stare decisis (that is, by overturning Franklin v. Massachusetts and/or Dalton v. Specter)?
  3. Can a novel standard of review for presidential authority be gleaned from the early-20th-century (pre-Administrative Procedure Act) jurisprudence?
  4. Do pleading requirements have a role in judicial review of the president’s statutory powers, as held by at least one circuit court?
  5. Is it possible to distill certain of the “hard-look” factors into an appropriate framework for judicial review of the president’s statutory powers?
  6. In setting a standard of review for the president’s statutory authority, does it matter that the Antiquities Act is a domestic statute, and the president cannot draw upon any independent Article II authority (as the president is able to do for delegations that implicate foreign policy)?
  7. Could the Court’s major questions or nondelegation doctrines inform a framework for judicial review of the president’s statutory powers under the Antiquities Act?

Honorarium, Deadlines, and Submission Details

Please submit a brief research proposal that describes your thesis or research question(s) and intended methodology.

Proposals should be submitted by March 25 to Will Yeatman at Early proposal submission is encouraged, as proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and approvals will allow authors to begin work early. Submissions after March 25 may be accepted if space at the roundtable and budget permit.

Authors of accepted papers will receive a $2,500 honorarium. Authors will benefit from robust feedback on their research. Papers will be published as a working paper on the PLF website.

Contact Information 

For questions regarding the call for papers, please contact Will Yeatman at