Duke Law Journal Thirty-Fifth Annual Administrative Law Conference: The Role of the Internet in Agency Decisionmaking
Cosponsored by Dewey Ballantine, L.L.P. and the American Constitution Society
February 25, 2005, 9:30 a.m.
In dissenting from the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's) decision in the summer of 2003 to increase the ownership cap for local broadcasting companies, Commissioner Copps wrote:
I want to thank the hundreds of thousands of people who have attended hearings, filed comments, written letters to the editor, and contacted the Commission. You have made a difference. And if you stay the course now, we have a chance to settle this issue of who will control our media and for what purposes, and to resolve it in favor of public airwaves of, by and for the people of this great country. 1
Commissioner Copps's dissent suggests that public participation in the FCC's decisionmaking process strongly influenced his decision to oppose raising the ownership cap. That the Internet likely facilitated this participation suggests that agency decisionmaking has changed, perhaps in both volume and tone. The Internet offers the promise of organizing large numbers of diverse people, but it also may inundate agencies with thousands of unhelpful comments.
The goal of this conference will be to examine, from empirical, legal, and practical perspectives, the effect of the Internet on agency decisionmaking. Specifically, the conference will consider the following questions:
- Is this another area in which the influence of the Internet has been overhyped?
- Does the rise of the Internet pose new challenges and opportunities to public agencies?
- Can the Internet help solve the collective action problem?
- Do e-mail campaigns reflect true grassroots activism?
- When hundreds of thousands of people submit form comments to an agency, how doe their comments affect Chevron or “ hard look” review?
The Conference will feature a panel discussion including:
Stuart Benjamin, Special Faculty Moderator, Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law.
Cary Coglianese, Associate Professor of Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
John de Figueiredo, Associate Professor of Strategic Management, Sloan School of Management, MIT, currently visiting at Princeton 's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Michael Froomkin, Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law.
Zephyr Teachout , Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School (and former Editor-in-Chief of the Duke Law Journal).
Registration and a light breakfast reception will start at 9:30 a.m. , with the panel discussion at 10:00 a.m. A lunch reception, starting around noon , will follow in the Burdman Lounge.
The law school is located at the corner of Science Drive and Towerview Road in Durham, North Carolina. Directions are located on the Visiting Duke Law page.
About the Journal
The Duke Law Journal was established in 1951 as the Duke Bar Journal , a vehicle to publish student-authored, student-edited legal scholarship. It has since become one of the most widely cited and widely read general interest legal publications in the country, featuring cutting-edge pieces from professors, practitioners, and judges. Student scholarship still plays an important role, with approximately one-third of each issue devoted to student notes discussing current legal developments.
The Journal is published six times per year, and is entirely student-edited and student-operated. This year the Journal 's student editors have published articles on such diverse topics as limits on intellectual property, mortgage foreclosure, and incentives to information production in the environmental context. Forthcoming issues include articles focusing on state compliance with international human rights norms, the regulatory valuation of human life, and shareholder oppression in the close corporation.
Generally one issue per year is devoted to publishing the proceedings of the annual Administrative Law Conference, and often another issue is in the form of a symposium.
About the Administrative Law Conference
Each year the Journal is committed to advancing scholarship in the field of Administrative Law by holding a conference, sometimes in conjunction with outside organizations, and publishing the proceedings. The conference is currently in its thirty-fifth year. Past conferences have addressed such topics as e xecutive p rivilege, ICANN and domain name registration, and tobacco and the Federal Drug Administration.
To register or for more information, please contact Keri Richardson.
1 In the Matter of 2002 Biennial Regulatory Review - Review of the Commission's Broadcast Ownership Rules and Other Rules Adopted Pursuant to Section 202 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, 18 F.C.C. 13,620, 13,955 (July 2, 2003) (Copps, Comm'r , dissenting).