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Regulation or “Don’t Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste” [LIVE COVID-19 & the Law]

During the COVID-19 crisis, government has assumed new powers that no one would claim it has except in an emergency. Will government cease exercising all these powers when the emergency passes? Historically government has almost always increased its power during crisis and then kept some of that power afterward. Will people try to invoke COVID-19 powers to address other pressing issues, such as drugs, climate change, crime, terrorism, etc. on the grounds that these, too, are very serious problems?

On the flip side, there are also regulations that have been lifted. Should they remain lifted in some situations? For example, FDA approvals (tests (restricting to CDC), drugs, devices, PPE) and occupational licensing practicing medicine across state lines. What regulatory obstacles are still proving to be an issue? Would a new BRAC commission make sense for this purpose? In general, to what extent does it make sense to reason – in either a pro-regulatory or deregulatory fashion — from crisis situations to general notions of governmental role?


– Prof. Sally Katzen, Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar in Residence; Co-Director of the Legislative and Regulatory Process Clinic, New York University School of Law
– Dr. Roger D. Klein, Faculty Fellow, Center for Law, Science & Innovation, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University
– Prof. Erika Lietzan, Associate Professor of Law, Center for Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship, University of Missouri School of Law
– Prof. Paul G. Mahoney, David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
– Prof. Cass Sunstein, Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard Law School
– Moderator: Prof. Susan E. Dudley, Director, GW Regulatory Studies Center & Distinguished Professor of Practice, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration, The George Washington University

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As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.

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