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November 09, 2021

Freedom of Information Act, Supreme Court shadow docket explored at Administrative Law Conference

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2021 — Legal experts and former and current U.S. government officials from regulatory agencies will offer insight on regulatory reform, landmark court decisions and the future of the regulatory state during the 2021 Administrative Law Conference on Nov. 18-19. The virtual live conference features 20 panels over two days, and registered attendees will have access to recordings for 30 days after the conference.

Attendees and panelists include former and active federal judges and officials from government agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, Administrative Conference of the United States, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Aviation Administration, The Federal Reserve, General Services Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Department of Justice, Department of Labor and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

What: 2021 Administrative Law Conference Sponsored by the ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice

When:  Thursday-Friday, Nov. 18-19

Where: Online

Program highlights include:

“Making FOIA Work” ­­— Since its enactment in 1966, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has been celebrated as a pathbreaking open government measure. But disputes about responding to FOIA requests increasingly sap agency, court and requestor resources and contribute to a culture of adversarialism, frustrating FOIA’s transparency goals. The status quo, where fully responding to requests can involve years of back and forth, is widely regarded as unsatisfactory. This panel will explore different approaches for addressing the glut of FOIA disputes currently facing agencies and the public. Some of those approaches — such as alternative conflict management systems and technological solutions — fit within the existing system for resolving FOIA disputes, while others — such as alternative disclosure systems and affirmative disclosure requirements — would be outside the existing system.

Thursday, 10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. EST

“Troubling Issues Raised by the Supreme Court’s Shadow Docket” – The Supreme Court has taken 45 major actions over the past five years without providing any reasons for the actions. Some members of this panel have said they believe that the court’s unprecedented practice of making major decisions without any accompanying opinion is lawless and must stop. The panel will discuss the court’s new practice and why many believe that it is unacceptable.

Friday, 1-2:30 p.m. EST

A complete agenda can be found online. For media credentialing and registration, please contact Jennifer Kildee at [email protected].

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.