Nina A. Mendelson

Visiting Professor of Law

Fall 2016

Biography

Nina Mendelson, the Joseph L. Sax Collegiate Professor of Law at University of Michigan Law School, teaches and conducts research in the areas of administrative law, statutory interpretation, and environmental law. She won the American Bar Association's Award for Scholarship in Administrative Law for the single best administrative law article of the year for her 2010 article "Disclosing Political Oversight of Agency Decision Making," and the Environmental Law Institute chose her 2014 article, "Private Control Over Access to the Law: The Perplexing Federal Regulatory Use of Private Standards," as one of the five best environmental law articles of that year. She is a public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States and one of three U.S. special legal advisers to the NAFTA Commission on Environmental Cooperation. She also is a member scholar at the Center for Progressive Reform. Prior to joining the Michigan Law faculty, Professor Mendelson served for several years as an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division, litigating and advising other federal agencies on legislative and policy matters. She also participated extensively in federal legislative negotiations. Professor Mendelson earned her AB in economics, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Harvard College, and her JD is from the Yale Law School, where she was a Yale Law Journal articles editor. She clerked for the Hon. Pierre Leval in the Southern District of New York and for the Hon. John Walker Jr., on the Second Circuit. She also has worked in the U.S. Senate and for a now defunct large law firm.

Nina A. Mendelson, American Bar Association Resolution 112: Championing Public Access to the Law, 42 Admin. & Reg. L. News, Fall 2016, at 11.
Categories:
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Administrative Law & Agencies
Type: Article
Nina A. Mendelson, Midnight Rulemaking and Congress, in Transitions: Legal Change, Legal Meanings (Austin Sarat, et. al. eds., Univ. Ala. Press 2012).
Categories:
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Public Law
,
Politics & Political Theory
,
Congress & Legislation
Type: Book
Abstract
Transitions: Legal Change, Legal Meanings illustrates the various intersections, crises, and shifts that continually occur within the law, and how these moments of change interact with and comment on contemporary society. Together the essays in this volume investigate the transformation of US law during moments of political change and explore what we can learn about law by examining its role and its use in times of transition. Whether by an abrupt shift in regime or an orderly progression from one government to the next, political change often calls into question the stability and versatility of the law, making it appear temporarily absent or in suspension. What challenges to the law arise at these times? To what extent do transitional periods foster ingenuity and resourcefulness, and how might they precipitate crises in legal authority? What do moments of legal change mean for law itself and how legal institutions bring about and respond to times of transition in legal arrangements? Transitions begins the scholarly exploration of these questions that have largely been neglected.
Nina A. Mendelson, Six Simple Steps to Increase Contractor Accountability, in Government by Contract: Outsourcing and American Democracy (Jody Freeman & Martha Minow eds., Harv. Univ. Press 2009).
Categories:
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Government Accountability
Type: Book
Abstract
The Dramatic Growth of Government since the New Deal prompts concern among libertarians and conservatives and also among those who worry about government's costs, efficiency, and quality of service. This concern, combined with rising confidence in private markets, motivates the widespread shift of federal and state government work to private organizations. This shift typically alters only who performs the work, not who pays or is ultimately responsible for it. "Government by contract" now includes military intelligence, environmental monitoring, prison management, and interrogation of terrorism suspects." "Outsourcing government work raises questions of accountability. What role should costs, quality, and democratic oversight play in contracting out government work? What tools do citizens and consumers need to evaluate the effectiveness of government contracts? How can the work be structured for optimal performance as well as compliance with public values?" "Government by Contract explains the phenomenon and scope of government outsourcing and sets an agenda for future research attentive to workforce capacities as well as legal, economic, and political concerns."--Jacket.
Robert R.M. Verchick & Nina Mendelson, Preemption and Theories of Federalism, in Preemption Choice: The Theory, Law, and Reality of Federalism's Core Question (William W. Buzbee ed., Cambridge Univ. Press 2009).
Categories:
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Federalism
,
State & Local Government
Type: Book
Abstract
The Constitution's federalist structures protect states' sovereignty but also create a powerful federal government that can preempt and thereby displace the authority of state and local governments and courts to respond to a social challenge. ... Recent legislative, agency, and court actions, however, reveal a newly aggressive use of federal preemption, sometimes even preempting more protective state law.
Nina A. Mendelson, Regulatory Beneficiaries and Informal Agency Policymaking, 92 Cornell L. Rev. 397 (2007).
Categories:
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Administrative Law & Agencies
Type: Article
Abstract
Administrative agencies frequently use guidance documents to set policy broadly and prospectively in areas ranging from Department of Education Title IX enforcement to Food and Drug Administration regulation of direct to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising. In form, these guidances often closely resemble the policies agencies issue in ordinary notice-and-comment rulemaking. However, guidances are generally developed with little public participation and are often immune from judicial review. Nonetheless, guidances can prompt significant changes in behavior from those the agencies regulate. A number of commentators have guardedly defended the current state of affairs. Though guidances lack some important procedural safeguards, they can help agencies supervise low-level employees and supply valuable information to regulated entities regarding how an agency will implement a program. Thus far, however, the debate has largely ignored the distinct and substantial interests of regulatory beneficiaries-those who expect to benefit from government regulation of others. Regulatory beneficiaries include, among others, pharmaceutical consumers, environmental users, and workers seeking safe workplaces. When agencies make policy informally, regulatory beneficiaries suffer distinctive losses to their ability to participate in the agency's decision and to invoke judicial review. This Article argues that considering the interests of regulatory beneficiaries strengthens the case for procedural reform. The Article then assesses some possible solutions.

Education History

Current Courses

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