Pacific Legal Foundation’s Center for the Separation of Powers and Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy will be hosting a symposium on “Ensuring Democratic Accountability in the Administrative State,” on February 9, 2023, in Washington, DC.
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.
- 8:15 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Registration and Informal Breakfast
- 9:00 a.m. – 9:05 a.m. Welcome and Introduction
- 9:05 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Who are “Officers of the United States” and Why Does that Matter?
- 10:30 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. Break
- 10:40 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Is Direct Accountability Good Enough for Government Work?
- 12:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Lunch with Keynote Address from Kannon Shanmugam
- 1:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Break
- 2:00 p.m. – 3:20 p.m. When Remedies Aren’t Remedial
- 3:20 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Policy Solutions to Increase Accountability
- 4:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Concluding Thoughts
- 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception
For questions regarding the symposium, please contact Elizabeth Slattery at .