42 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2017 Last revised: 5 Jul 2018
Date Written: February 21, 2017
The Trump administration has promised to pursue policy through deals with the private sector, not as an extraordinary response to extraordinary events, but as part and parcel of the ordinary work of government. Jobs would be onshored through a series of deals with employers. Infrastructure would be built through joint ventures where the government would fund but private parties would own and operate public assets.
We evaluate how this dealmaking state would work as a matter of law. Deals were the principal government response to the financial crisis, partly because they offered a just barely legal way around constitutional and administrative barriers to executive action. Moreover, unilateral presidential dealmaking epitomizes the presidentialism celebrated by Justice Elena Kagan, among others. But because it risks dispensing with process, and empowers the executive, we identify ways that it can be controlled through principles of transparency, rules of statutory interpretation, and policymaking best practices such as delay and equivalent treatment of similarly situated private parties.
Keywords: Administrative Law, Mergers and Acquisitions, Separation of Powers, Corporate Law
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