February 2012 Vol. 110 No. 4 THE REVIEW
ARTICLES

Inside Agency Preemption

Catherine M. Sharkey

A subtle shift has taken place in the mechanics of preemption, the doctrine that determines when federal law displaces state law. In the past, Congress was the leading actor, and courts and commentators focused almost exclusively on the precise wording of its statutory directives as a clue to its intent to displace state law. Federal agencies were, if not ignored, certainly no more than supporting players. But the twenty-first century has witnessed a role reversal. Federal agencies now play the dominant role in statutory interpretation. The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized the ascendancy of federal agencies in preemption disputes-an ascendancy unchecked by the change in presidential administrations.

This Article confronts the profound implications for the administrative rulemaking process caused by the ascendancy of federal agencies in the preemption realm. Stakeholders with vested interests in preemption disputes, such as state governmental organizations, state attorneys general, consumer- and business-oriented organizations, and private litigants, can continue to ignore the preemptive rulemaking processes within federal agencies only at their peril. As this Article further shows, those processes are, in and of themselves, rich areas for investigation. Taking a unique perspective "inside" the preemptive rulemaking processes within five major federal agencies that regulate in areas as diverse as health and safety, banking, and the environment, this Article presents the first look at agencies' responses to President Obama's Memorandum on Preemption and their efforts to ensure compliance with the relevant provisions of Federalism Executive Order 13132, which governs preemptive rulemaking.

With this empirical grounding in agency practice, the Article addresses possibilities for reform, including a novel attorney general preemption notification provision and a blueprint for external review of newly proposed internal oversight procedures. The specific reform measures are guided by the overarching goals of (1) creating a "home" within agencies for consideration of the federalism values at stake in preemptive rulemaking and ensuring participation in the rulemaking process by suitable representatives of state regulatory interests; and (2) establishing a system of internal agency policing of the empirical and factual predicates to arguments for preemption, coupled with external oversight.

This journey inside agency preemption charts preemption's future path. 

 

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Criminal Sanctions in the Defense of the Innocent

Ehud Guttel & Doron Teichman
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NOTES

On Strict Liability Crimes: Preserving a Moral Framework for Criminal Intent in an Intent-Free Moral World

W. Robert Thomas

The law has long recognized a presumption against criminal strict liability. This Note situates that presumption in terms of moral intuitions about the role of intention and the unique nature of criminal punishment. Two sources--recent laws from state legislatures and recent advances in moral philosophy--pose distinct challenges to the presumption against strict liability crimes. This Note offers a solution to the philosophical problem that informs how courts could address the legislative problem. First, it argues that the purported problem from philosophy stems from a mistaken relationship drawn between criminal law and morality. Second, it outlines a slightly more nuanced moral framework that both accommodates recent thinking in philosophy and preserves the correspondence between moral theory and criminal law that underwrites the presumption against criminal strict liability. Finally, it considers how the contours of this moral framework could inform judicial efforts to accommodate and constrain new criminal strict liability laws.

 

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The Justiciability of Fair Balance under the Federal Advisory Committee Act: Toward a Deliberative Process Approach

Daniel E. Walters
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