George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School

Symposium for Judges: Judicial Deference and Regulatory Agency Science

Event Details

  • Date:
  • Venue: George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School
  • Division: The Judicial Education Program

The adequacy of federal agency rulemaking on any number of issues—ranging from consumer and environmental protection to trade, transportation, and technology policy–cannot be assessed without an understanding of the scientific and economic impacts of various proposals.

Even when deferring to agency expertise, judges are still called upon to evaluate how closely agencies hew to their statutory mandates and whether agencies proffer a reasoned connection between underlying evidence and their regulatory choices.

The Federal Judges Symposium on Judicial Deference and Regulatory Agency Science was designed to provide judges with the tools they need to analyze and think critically about the scientific and economic evidence regulatory agencies marshal in support of their proposals.

The symposium featured two rigorous days of instruction and debates, offering participants a primer on the scientific method; an introduction to understanding regulatory impact analysis; the political economy of regulatory agencies and agency science; and a debate by leading experts on the best approaches to regulating emerging risks. The symposium also included a panel of noted federal jurists who will discuss their experience grappling with scientific evidence in the courts.

The symposium was structured to allow ample time for participant dialogue with speakers and panelists.