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Showing 793 results

Sidney A. Shapiro | March 30, 2023

Government, Expertise, and a “Fair Chance in the Race of Life”

The American public has lost faith in expertise. The reason why, as author and national security expert Tom Nichols points out in his 2017 book The Death of Expertise, includes the transformation of the news industry into a 24-hour entertainment machine, the number of “low-information voters,” political leaders who traffic in “alternative facts,” and, as Nichols puts it, a “Google-fueled, Wikipedia-based, blog-sodden collapse of any division between professionals and lay people, students and teachers, knowers and wonderers — in other words between those of any achievement in an area and those with none at all.” Bill Araiza offers another important insight in his book, Rebuilding Expertise: Increasing legal and political efforts to oversee agencies have resulted in the deterioration of civil service expertise and, with it, of public faith in government. On the front end, these efforts send a message that expertise can’t be trusted. On the back end, when the government stumbles in carrying out its functions, the message is that experts are not so expert after all. What is missed, as Liz Fisher and I contend in our book, Administrative Competence, is that law and politics can hold agencies accountable and still facilitate their capacity to do their job. Araiza’s last chapter ably discusses how this can be done.

James Goodwin | March 16, 2023

Center Urges White House Office to Further Broaden Public Engagement in the Federal Regulatory System

The regulatory policy world is often a sleepy one — I’m the first to admit that — but last week was a notable exception. In addition to a U.S. House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on regulations, the Biden administration’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) wrapped up efforts to solicit public input on its recommendations for broadening public input in the regulatory process.

James Goodwin | March 13, 2023

Center Mounts Counteroffensive to Anti-Reg Efforts at U.S. House Hearing

The regulatory system is a vital part of our constitutional democracy; with smart reforms, it can empower the public and continue enforcing policies that make us all safer, healthier, and freer. That was the message that Member Scholars of the Center for Progressive Reform successfully conveyed during last Friday’s subcommittee hearing of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.

Minor Sinclair | March 6, 2023

Center Taps Three New Board Members as Country Faces Unprecedented Challenges

As the Center for Progressive Reform enters our third decade of advocating for progressive policy for the public good, our country is facing wholly unprecedented challenges: A suffering climate. Unimaginable inequality and inequities that dispossess the majority. A faltering democracy. The Center is extremely gratified to have three new Board members join us and lend their deep expertise and wide range of experiences as we tackle these challenges and more.

A scientist tests water quality in a marsh

Daniel Farber | March 1, 2023

Wetlands Regulation in the Political Swamp

Last December, the Biden administration issued a rule defining the scope of the federal government’s authority over streams and wetlands. Congressional Republicans vowed to overturn the rule, using a procedure created by the Congressional Review Act. If Congress is going to repeal something, it should be the Congressional Review Act rather than the Biden rule.

Richard Pierce, Jr. | February 28, 2023

Point: Ensuring Democratic Responsibility in the Administrative State

I recently accepted an invitation from Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy and the Pacific Legal Foundation to contribute to a symposium on “Ensuring Democratic Responsibility in the Administrative State.” I decided to begin with ideas that I borrowed from former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Howard Taft and former Justice Stephen Breyer.

James Goodwin | February 28, 2023

Counterpoint: Does Centralized Regulatory Review Ensure Democratic Accountability?

In today's "point" post on this blog, Member Scholar Richard Pierce described how centralized regulatory review conducted by the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is effective in ensuring the democratic accountability of the administrative state. In this companion post, I’ll offer a competing view of whether centralized review fulfills this objective in practice and what that means for the standards and safeguards designed to protect our health, safety, and lives.

Richard Pierce, Jr. | February 28, 2023

Rebuttal: The Benefits of Cost-Benefit Analysis

At the request of Senior Policy Analyst James Goodwin, I posted a brief summary of an essay in which I described the advantages that I see in expanding the scope of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) and combining its use of cost-benefit analysis with some doctrines that the U.S. Supreme Court has already adopted. I did so, and Goodwin suggested pairing it with a "counterpoint" post he subsequently prepared and also gave me the opportunity to rebut that counterpoint. I do so here.

James Goodwin | February 15, 2023

Biden Regulatory Democracy Proposal Follows the Center for Progressive Reform’s Recommendations

Last week, the Biden administration took the next step on its important initiative to “broaden public engagement in the federal regulatory process,” announcing a set of proposed reforms and asking for more public feedback. As the announcement explains, these proposals reflect input the administration received during a public listening session and an open comment period it conducted last November — both of which I participated in along with several members of the public interest community. I was pleased to find that many of our recommendations were reflected in the proposals.