fbpx The Law of “Not Now”: When Agencies Defer Decisions | Harvard Kennedy School

Additional Authors:

  • Adrian Vermeule


The Law of “Not Now”: When Agencies Defer Decisions. Cass Sunstein, Adrian Vermeule, February 1, 2014, Paper. “Administrative agencies frequently say ‘not now.’ They defer decisions about rulemaking or adjudication, or decide not to decide, potentially jeopardizing public health, national security, or other important goals. Such decisions are often made as a result of general Administration policy, may be highly controversial, and are at least potentially subject to legal challenge. When is it lawful for agencies to defer decisions? A substantial degree of agency autonomy is guaranteed by a recognition of resource constraints, which require agencies to set priorities, often with reference to their independent assessments of the relative importance of legislative policies …” Link