A Question on Agency Pre-emption of State Law

Dan, any reason to think that the powers that be will actually pay any attention to the ABA?  As you know, the Bush Administration formally decided to ignore it regarding judicial appointments.  On something like this, does the ABA have any status greater than your typical interest group?

It would be interesting to see the reaction of the Administrative Conference of the United States, a very useful agency charged with making recommendations about improving federal bureaucratic performance.  The ACUS is headed by the distinguished scholar Paul Verkuil, and comprises other heavy hitters such as Judge Patricia Wald  and George W. Bush’s Solicitor General Theodore Olson (who just won the gay marriage case in California).  The Gingrich Congress eliminated the agency in 1995: destroying a tiny, political neutral body (it was formerly headed by Antonin Scalia) was much easier for Deficit Peacocks than actually pursuing GOP sacred cows.  Hopefully now it can survive despite Washington’s current political toxicity.

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Reader Comments

2 Replies to “A Question on Agency Pre-emption of State Law”

  1. Jonathan — you raise a very good question about the ABA, and I have to confess that I don’t know the answer. I would guess that the ABA has more credibility on this issue than ATLA because it has a broader base and less of an obvious ax to grind. But whether it has any REAL muscle in Congress or in the executive branch is something I don’t know. If nothing else, the ABA action is a sign that the issue is of interest to a fairly broad segment of the legal community, and that signal itself may be relevant to other actors.


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Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic – Land Use, the Environment and Loc…

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