Last week at the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in San Diego, the Federalist Society hosted its annual faculty division debate, this year on whether the major questions doctrine has no place in statutory interpretation. I had the privilege of moderating, which was a lot of fun. Here’s the video of the debate:
Streamed live on Jan 5, 2023
Welcome featuring Hon. Lee Liberman Otis
Luncheon Debate: Resolved: The Major Questions Doctrine Has No Place in Statutory Interpretation
In West Virginia v. EPA, decided this last term, the Supreme Court invoked the major questions doctrine to reject EPA’s claim that the Clean Air Act granted it the authority effectively to require power plants to shift from generating electricity through coal to doing so through natural gas, wind, or solar sources. Should the doctrine continue to play a role in the interpretation of federal statutes? Is the major questions doctrine consistent with textualism? How does it relate to the nondelegation doctrine? Does it really protect congressional primacy in policymaking, or is it cover for deregulatory gridlock and the imposition of the judiciary’s policy preferences?
Prof. Ilan Wurman, Associate Professor, Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
Prof. Chad Squitieri, Assistant Professor, Catholic University, Columbus School of Law
Moderator: Prof. Christopher J. Walker, Professor, University of Michigan Law School