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Lisa Schultz Bressman

David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair in Law

Lisa Schultz Bressman is an innovative scholar in administrative law and statutory interpretation. She ranks among the top 10 most-cited scholars in the area of public law for the period from 2013 to 2017 in the most recent Leiter Score scholarly impact rankings. Her work, with Abbe Gluck of Yale Law School, includes an article in two parts discussing the results of the largest empirical study to date of congressional drafting and the implications for statutory interpretation and administrative law. Other articles attempt to better account for the legal fiction of congressional delegation in statutory interpretation and to reimagine congressional delegation as a genuine feature of judicial deference doctrine. Her article, with former colleague Robert Thompson, challenges the binary distinction between executive-branch and independent agencies, focusing on financial agencies. In addition, Professor Bressman has used insights from positive political theory to elaborate the relationship between administrative procedures and congressional delegation. In several seminal pieces, she has explored the relationship between accountability and arbitrariness in agency action as well as an empirical study done with colleague Michael Vandenbergh on the agency experience with presidential control. She has co-authored, with Vanderbilt colleagues Edward Rubin and Kevin Stack, The Regulatory State, a course book designed to teach statutes and regulations to students, particularly in the first year of law school. Professor Bressman served as associate dean for academic affairs from 2010 to 2016 and was co-director of Vanderbilt’s Regulatory Program from 2006 to 2010. She joined the Vanderbilt law faculty in 1998 after working in the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice and serving as a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Judge José A. Cabranes when he was Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court of Connecticut. She was a Roscoe Pound Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School in fall 2008. Professor Bressman teaches Administrative Law, Behind the Curtain of the Supreme Court seminar, Food Law, and Regulatory State.

Research Interests

Administrative law, constitutional theory, statutory interpretation

Representative Publications

  • “Statutory Interpretation from the Inside—An Empirical Study of Congressional Drafting, Delegation, and the Canons: Part I,” 65 Stanford Law Review 901 (2013); “Part II,” 66 Stanford Law Review 725 (2014) (with Abbe R. Gluck)
    Full Text | SSRN | WWW
  • "Reclaiming the Legal Fiction of Congressional Delegation," 97 Virginia Law Review 2009 (2011)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "Regulation in the Behavioral Era," 95 Minnesota Law Review 715 (2011) (with Michael Vandenbergh & Amanda Carrico) 
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "The Future of Agency Independence," 63 Vanderbilt Law Review 599 (2010) (with Robert Thompson)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "Chevron's Mistake," 58 Duke Law Journal 549 (2009) 
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "Procedures as Politics in Administrative Law," 107 Columbia Law Review 1749 (2007) 
    Full Text | SSRN
  • "Deference and Democracy," 75 George Washington Law Review 761 (2007) (inaugural administrative law issue)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "Inside the Administrative State: A Critical Look at the Practice of Presidential Control," 105 Michigan Law Review 1 (2006) (with Michael Vandenbergh) 
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "How Mead Has Muddled Judicial Review of Agency Action," 58 Vanderbilt Law Review 1443 (2005) 
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "Beyond Accountability: Arbitrariness and Legitimacy in the Administrative State," 78 New York University Law Review 461 (2003) 
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN