Kisor v. Wilkie: A Case to Watch
How did a Vietnam War veteran’s request for disability benefits turn into one of the key Supreme Court cases of this term, one with major implications for the future of the administrative state? In this episode, administrative law experts Jonathan Adler of Case Western Law School and Ron Levin of Washington University in St. Louis School of Law explain the issues in this case, Kisor v. Wilkie. They join host Jeffrey Rosen to unpack Kisor and the administrative law deference doctrine, known as “Auer deference,” at the center of the dispute. They also break down other administrative law doctrines like “Chevron” and “Skidmore” deference and the non-delegation doctrine, explaining why they’re so important and at times, controversial.
Jonathan Adler is the inaugural Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Business Law & Regulation at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Adler is the author or editor of seven books, including Business and the Roberts Court (2016). Adler is a senior fellow at the Property & Environment Research Center in Bozeman, Montana and at the Center for the Study of the Administrative State at the George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School.
Ron Levin is William R. Orthwein Distinguished Professor of Law at Washington Univ. in St. Louis School of Law where he specializes in administrative law and has published widely in that field. He has testified before Congress on regulatory reform issues, participates actively in the work of the American Bar Association, especially in the ABA’s Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, and in the Administrative Conference of the United States, where he is a senior fellow. Levin has coauthored several casebooks on administrative law including State and Federal Administrative Law (2014) and Administrative Law and Process in a Nutshell (6th ed. 2017).
Jeffrey Rosen is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Constitution Center, the only institution in America chartered by Congress “to disseminate information about the United States Constitution on a nonpartisan basis.”
- Kisor v. Wilkie oral argument transcript – Paul W. Hughes arguing on behalf of the Petitioner James L. Kisor, and Gen. Noel G. Francisco, Solicitor General, arguing on behalf of the Respondent Robert Wilkie, Sec. of Veterans’ Affairs
- Definition of Auer deference from Ballotpedia
- Bowles v. Seminole Rock and Sand Co. (1945)
- Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. NRDC (1984)
- Skidmore v. Swift & Co. (1944)
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This episode was engineered by David Stotz with editing help from Jackie McDermott, and produced by Jackie McDermott. Research was provided by Lana Ulrich, Megan Murphy, and Jackie McDermott.
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