Regulatory Series: 2016 in Review

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The Regulatory Review celebrates the end of 2016 by recapping our series from the past year.

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As the new year arrives, The Regulatory Review would like to reflect on the many important regulatory developments and debates that occurred in the United States and around the world in 2016. We also want to recognize some of the excellent work we had the privilege to feature on The Regulatory Review this past year. From Monday, December 26th through Wednesday, December 28th, we are presenting the top 50 essays published on The Regulatory Review over the past twelve months, based on the number of page views.

Today we feature, in order of publication, the The Regulatory Review series featured in 2016. Visit our “Regulatory Year in Review” series main page for information about the top opinion, news, and analysis essays.

Is Government Prone to Fail?

January 5 – January 14

An analysis of governmental ineffectiveness lies at the heart of Peter H. Schuck’s recent book, Why Government Fails So Often: And How It Can Do Better. The Regulatory Review highlighted Schuck’s important argument about government failure and featured responses to his book from a half dozen distinguished commentators.

The Bounds of Executive Discretion in the Regulatory State

January 25 – February 1

The Regulatory Review featured a ten-part series recapping the two-day University of Pennsylvania Law Review’s 2015 Symposium about presidential authority in the regulatory state. Featured speakers included Harvard University professor Cass R. Sunstein and University of Chicago Law Professor Eric Posner.

Improving Higher Education Regulation

April 4 – April 12

Although most critics would agree that colleges and universities could be more accessible, affordable, and effective, how exactly should the federal government reform its rules to achieve needed improvements? In this six-part series of essays, Professor Wendell Pritchett thoughtfully explained why reforming higher education requires careful analysis of the fundamentals of regulation.


April 18 – May 12

RegBlog‘s fifth anniversary series featured articles from leading experts reflecting on the past five years of regulation. RegBlog, the former name for The Regulatory Review, featured new content every weekday for the past five years, establishing a reputation for fluency in complex regulatory issues. This series highlights key regulatory developments and issues presented over this time—and ones likely to persist for some years to come.

Rooting Out Regulatory Capture

June 13 – July 7

The Regulatory Review‘s month-long series of essays focused on addressing some of the key questions about regulatory capture: how to identify it and what should be done to prevent it. Contributors to the series included some of the nation’s foremost public servants and political leaders—including three sitting Senators—as well as leading scholars from law and the social sciences.

The Supreme Court’s 2016 Regulatory Term

July 11 – July 20

This two-week series showcased the regulatory issues the U.S. Supreme Court faced during its 2016 term. The series featured essays on cases that dealt with issues including contraception, judicial review of agencies’ jurisdictional determinations, sentencing guidelines, and abortion laws.

U.S Election 2016

July 25 – November 8

The Regulatory Review‘s ongoing coverage of the U.S. election featured daily coverage of the Democratic National Convention produced by a team of on-the-ground staff writers, as well as contributions from legal scholars on topics ranging from expansion of the right to vote to the Supreme Court’s refining of redistricting law.

Innovations in Teaching Regulatory Law

August 15 – August 22

The U.S. regulatory state has undergone a dramatic expansion over the last several decades, yet the typical administrative law class taught in law schools has remained largely unchanged. Upon participating in a special panel, Beyond Leg/Reg: Designing a Broader Regulatory Practice Curriculum, five speakers wrote essays distilling their comments.

A Debate Over the Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis

September 26 – September 27

With its opinion last year in Michigan v. EPA, the U.S. Supreme Court renewed the debate over regulators’ use of cost-benefit analysis. The Regulatory Review presented essays from Professor Amy Sinden, and from John D. Graham and Paul R. Noe, each articulating a side of this debate.

Artificial Intelligence and the Administrative State

December 19 – December 22

As government enters a brave new world of machine-learning facilitated automation, questions arise about accountability and cybersecurity. In this four-part series, based on a keynote address delivered at the Penn Program on Regulation’s annual dinner, Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar of the California Supreme Court illuminated the prospects—and potential pitfalls—of government use of machine-learning algorithms.