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Tracy Hester
Statutory Interpretation
and Regulation
Spring 2014


LAW 3597

TUII 211
Tuesdays at 2:30, Thursdays at 1:00



No. Date Topics Guest Speaker(s) Readings Comments and Reference Materials
1. Jan. 14, 2014 Introduction  

Bressman et al., The Regulatory State -- skim preface and pp. 166-183 for general sense of statutory structure.

Unless otherwise noted, all page references below are to Bressman.


Safe Parks and Responsible Vehicle Operation Act

2. Jan. 16, 2014 The Legislative Process  

pp. 125-142

Reading bench email


Texas Legislative Process Flowchart
3. Jan. 21, 2014 Structure of Statutes  

pp. 200-222 and refresh your recollection of pp. 166-183.

Skim pp. 142-165 for sense of structure and format of example statute and committee report

Reading bench email


Review Questions


Snack Attack Act of 2014

4. Jan. 23, 2014 Statutory Interpretation by Courts -- Introduction  

pp. 223-37

Reading bench email

Holy Trinity statutory language


Review Questions

The Incoherence of Antonin Scalia

  Jan. 28, 2014 Class cancelled - the Great Houston 2014 Ice "Storm"      
5. Jan. 30, 2014 Text-Based Tools  

pp. 237-250

Reading bench email


Review Question
6. Feb. 4, 2014 Textual Canons of Construction  

pp. 250-265

Reading bench email


Review Question

Endangered Species Act

7. Feb. 6, 2014 Linguistic Canons  

pp. 265-279

Texas Code Construction Act

Reading bench email


Review Questions

Linguistic Canons PowerPoint

7. Feb. 11, 2014 Whole Act Canons and Whole Code Canons  

pp. 279-292


Sample Problem

8. Feb. 13, 2014 Substantive Canons: Rule of Lenity and Rule of Constitutional Avoidance  

pp. 292-310

Reading bench email


Review Questions
9. Feb. 14, 2014

Make-up class

IN BLB 209 from noon to 1:00 pm

Guest Lecture by Texas Rep. Sarah Davis and Houston Parliamentarian Chris Griesel




The Art of Statutory Construction by R. Beal

Models of Statutory Interpretation Applied to Your Practice by the Honorable A. Hedges

10. Feb. 18, 2014 Substantive Canons: Rule of Constitutional Avodance (cont'd) and Federalism Clear Statement Rule  

pp. 310-327

Reading bench email


8 USC 1231(a)(6)

8 USC 1326

10. Feb. 20, 2014 Substantive Canons: Presumption Against Preemption of State Law and Statutory Tools on Preemption  

pp. 327-340

Reading bench email

Preemption provision from federal Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. sec. 7604(e) (skip the rest of section)


Review Questions
11. Feb. 25, 2014 Absurd Results Doctrine, Administrative Necessity and Incremental Implementation Doctrine  

Coalition for Responsible Regulation of Industry v. EPA, D.C. Cir. (2013)

Denial of request for en banc review and dissents, Coalition for Responsible Regulation of Industry v. EPA

Supreme Court Amicus brief of Kansas, et al.

There is no audio for this lecture because the file was corrupted.

Review Questions and Survey

Statutory Interpretation Central to Arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court Greenhouse Gas Case, 37 BNA Daily Env't Rpt A-11 - A-12 (Feb. 2, 2014)

Oral argument transcript

12. Feb. 27, 2014 Intent and Purpose-Based Tools: Legislative History  

pp. 341-373


Review Questions and Survey.
13. March 4, 2014 Tools for Considering Changed Circumstances  

pp. 374-401, 429-436


Reading bench memo

Review Questions and Survey.

26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3)

14. March 6, 2014

Guest Lecture by Justice Brett Busby (14th Cir. Ct. Apps., Tex) and a federal trial or appellate judge. They will discuss the way judges construe statutes and the substantive value of textual aproaches.

Class will take place in Krost Hall at 10:30 am. We have combined all three Statutory Interpretation Sections for this special session.


Please email any questions that you would like to pose to the judges in advance to me at .


15. March 11-13, 2014 SPRING BREAK      
16. March 18, 2014 Agencies in the Structure of Modern Federal Government  

pp. 1-16, 38-48, 54-70


There is no reading panel for today's class opening our discussion of regulatory practice.

Mid-Course Survey

Responses of John Cruden to Senate Committee

17. March 20, 2014

Delegation to Agencies


Statutory Implementation by Agencies


pp. 183-200

pp.473-478, 504-507

pp. 508-523 (skim only to get a feel for structure and process)


House Bill on Species Resurrection 1

Senate Bill on Species Resurrection 2

Reconciliation Species Resurrection Act 3

Review Questions


18. March 25, 2014

Notice-and-Comment Rulemaking


Tools for Statutory Implementation -- Chevron


pp. 524-544



Review Questions

Sample FOIA Response

Request for Contested Case Hearing

Motion for Direct Referral to Contested Case Hearing

Sample Final Exam Questions

19. March 27, 2014

Modes of Agency Interpretation -- Economic Analysis and Cost-Benefit Analysis


pp. 576-586, 590-601


Economic Analysis Survey 1

Economic Analysis Survey 2

Murray Energy v. McCarthy (filed March 24, 2014 in N.D. W.Va. federal district court)

Review Questions

20. April 1, 2014

Modes of Agency Interpretation -- Scientific Analysis and Risk Assessment


pp. 553-562, 567-76



Data Quality Act

Cultural Cognition of Risk excerpt

Privileged scientific investigation email

Review Questions

21. April 3, 2014

Modes of Agency Interpretation -- Political Analysis

Agency Adjudication and Use of Guidance


pp. 604-629


Review Questions

22. April 8, 2014

Control of Agency Action -- Presidential Control


pp. 657-687, 701-703



Memorandum from Rahm Emanuel re Regulatory Review (Jan. 20, 2009)

Review Questions

23. April 10, 2014

Control of Agency Action -- Congressional Control


pp. 703-726, 741-753



REINS Act, H.R. 367

EPA Employment Impact Analysis Act

Why Regulatory Practice Matters.

Review Questions

24. April 15, 2014

Standing and Reviewability of Agency Actions


Judicial Control of Agency Action -- Agency Policymaking and Statutory Interpretation


pp. 883-909 (skim Massachusetts v. EPA to refresh your memory from Con Law)

pp. 753-760, 769-785

Reading Bench Memo for Remainder of Semester


Administrative Procedure Act sections 701, 702, 706


Review Questions

25. April 17, 2014 Judicial Control of Agency Action -- Agency Statutory Interpretation (cont'd)  

pp. 785-801

Article on Alt v. EPA (oral argument set for 4th Cir. in May 2014)


Class Evaluation Link

Concurrences in Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center

Review Questions

26. April 22, 2014 Availability of Judicial Review of Agency Action  

pp. 801-823




Class Evaluation Link

Review Question.

Pending FDA proposed rule to regulate electronic cigarettes (Fall 2013 Unified Regulatory Agenda)

Credible Fear Lesson Plan Overview (Feb. 28, 2014) - see pp. 14-15.

Memorandum from John Lafferty, Chief of Asylum Division, re Release of Updated Asylum Training Course (Feb. 28, 2014)

27. April 24, 2014 Availability of Judicial Review of Agency Action (cont'd)  

pp. 843-866




Final Exam Review Procedures

Proposed Regulation, Deeming Tobacco Products Subject to Regulation Under the Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Act (Electronic Cigarettes), Food and Drug Administration, Fed. Reg. (April 24, 2014)

C. Sunstein, Chevron Step Zero, 92 Virginia Law Rev. -- (2006)

South Texas Project storage pond

28. April 29, 2014

Voluntary Review Session

The review session will take place at 9:00 am to 10:15 am in BLB 209.

Deadline to submit email questions:  May 6 at 10:00 pm. I will circulate a global answer to those emails on May 7 to the entire class (unless you ask me to keep your question confidential).


Review Session

Answers to Email Questions for Finals Review

Comprehensive Answer Set to All Review Survey Questions







Final exam will take place on May 8, and is scheduled from 9 am to noon on the master calendar.