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Daniel E. Walters

Daniel Walters

Assistant Professor of Law
Affiliate Faculty, Department of Political Science, College of the Liberal Arts
Affiliated Researcher, Institutes of Energy & the Environment

SSRN Profile


J.D., University of Michigan Law School
Ph.D., M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.A., University of Southern California
B.A., Northern Illinois University

Daniel E. Walters is an assistant professor of law at Penn State Law, as well as an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Political Science and an affiliated researcher in the Institutes of Energy & the Environment at the Pennsylvania State University. He brings an empirical and interdisciplinary approach to the study of public law and regulatory policy, with work appearing or forthcoming in the Yale Law Journal, the Stanford Law Review, the Columbia Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the Georgetown Law Journal, the Michigan Law Review, the Cornell Law Review, the Emory Law Journal, Ecology Law Quarterly, the Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, the Harvard Environmental Law Review, and the Administrative Law Review, among others. His current research focuses on empirically testing claims undergirding proposed reforms to the regulatory state and administrative law, as well as examining political and legal approaches to promote a transition to a cleaner energy economy. Professor Walters serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Administrative & Regulatory Law News, the newsletter of the American Bar Association's Section on Administrative Law & Regulatory Policy.

Professor Walters is a 2012 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where he was a member of the Michigan Law Review and served as the editor-in-chief for the inaugural volume of the Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law. Professor Walters also earned his Ph.D. in political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2019 with a dissertation focusing on bureaucratic politics and administrative behavior. Before joining the faculty at Penn State, Professor Walters was a regulation fellow in the Penn Program on Regulation at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a law clerk for the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Law Reviews

Grid Governance in the Energy Trilemma Era: Remedying the Democracy Deficit, 74 ALA. L. REV. (forthcoming 2023) (with Andy N. Kleit)

If We Build It, Will They Legislate? Empirically Testing the Nondelegation Doctrine’s Potential to Curb Congressional “Abdication,” 108 Cornell L. Rev. (forthcoming 2023) (with Elliott Ash)

The Administrative Agon: A Democratic Theory for a Conflictual Regulatory State, 132 Yale L.J. (forthcoming 2022)

Decoding Nondelegation After Gundy: What the Experience in the States Tells Us About What to Expect When We're Expecting, 71 Emory L.J. 417 (2022)

Lumpy Social Goods in Energy Decarbonization: Why We Need More Than Just Markets for the Clean Energy Transition, 92 U. Colo. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2021)

Unrules, 73 Stan. L. Rev. 885 (2021) (with Cary Coglianese & Gabe Scheffler)

Symmetry’s Mandate: Constraining the Politicization of American Administrative Law, 119 Mich. L. Rev. 455 (2020)

Litigating EPA Rules: A Fifty-Year Retrospective of Environmental Rulemaking in the Courts, 70 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 1007 (2020) (with Cary Coglianese)

Whither the Regulatory ‘War on Coal’? Scapegoats, Saviors, and Stock Market Reactions, 47 Ecology L.Q. 1 (2020) (with Cary Coglianese)

Animal Agriculture Liability for Climatic Nuisance: A Path Forward for Climate Change Litigation?, 44 Colum. J. Envtl. L. 299 (2019)
Selected for inclusion in the 13th Edition of the Environmental Law Institute’s Environmental Law and Policy Review, which included the top 20 environmental law articles published from August 2018 to July 2019

Capturing the Regulatory Agenda: An Empirical Study of Agency Responsiveness to Rulemaking Petitions, 43 Harv. Envtl. L. Rev. 175 (2019)

The Self-Delegation False Alarm: Analyzing Auer Deference’s Effect on Agency Rules, 119 Colum. L. Rev. 85 (2019)

Planning for Excellence: Insights from an International Review of Regulators’ Strategic Plans, 35 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 240 (2018) (with Adam M. Finkel & Angus Corbett)

The Judicial Role in Constraining Presidential Non-Enforcement Discretion: The Virtues of an APA Approach, 164 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1911 (2016)

Agenda-Setting in the Regulatory State: Theory and Evidence, 68 Admin. L. Rev. 865 (2016) (with Cary Coglianese)

Upending a Global Debate: An Empirical Analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Use of Transnational Law to Interpret Domestic Doctrine, 103 Geo. L.J. 1 (2014) (with Ryan Black, Ryan Owens, & Jennifer Brookhart)

Ideology, Qualifications, and Covert Senate Obstruction of Federal Court Nominations, 2014 U. Ill. L. Rev. 347 (with Ryan Owens, Ryan Black, & Anthony Madonna)

Litigation-Fostered Bureaucratic Autonomy: Administrative Law Against Political Control, 28 J. L. & Pol. 129 (2013)
Winner of the American Constitution Society’s Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law (student category)

The Justiciability of Fair Balance under the Federal Advisory Committee Act: Toward a Deliberative Process Approach, 110 Mich. L. Rev. 677 (2012)

Peer-Reviewed Journals

Scientific Expertise and the Balance of Political Interests: MEDCAC and Medicare Coverage Decisions, 22 J. Pub. Admin. Res. & Theory 55 (2012)
Winner of the Beryl Radin Award from the Public Management Research Association

Book Chapters

Public Engagement in Regulation: Assessing the Effectiveness of Common Tools, in The Regulator’s Handbook (Cary Coglianese ed., forthcoming 2022) (with Jennifer Nash)

Excellence in Transparency: A Field Guide for Regulators, in The Regulator’s Handbook (Cary Coglianese ed., forthcoming 2022) (with Jennifer Nash)

Book Reviews

Review of “The Fourth Branch,” by Brian J. Cook, 19 Perspectives on Pol. 1346 (2021)


Uncovering Agencies’ Hidden Unrules, Admin. & Reg. L. News (forthcoming 2021) (with Cary Coglianese & Gabriel Scheffler)

Unrules Can Unravel Business Regulations, Oxford Business Law Blog (Aug. 23, 2021) (with Cary Coglianese & Gabriel Scheffler)

The Supreme Court’s “Exceptional” Term, The Regulatory Review (July 19, 2021) (with Cary Coglianese & Gabriel Scheffler)

A Trojan Horse From the Court’s Conservatives?, The Regulatory Review (June 21, 2021) (with Cary Coglianese)

The Supreme Court’s “Exceptional” Term, Yale J. Reg.: Notice & Comment Blog (July 9, 2021) (with Cary Coglianese & Gabriel Scheffler)

Chevron on the Chopping Block, Trends: ABA Section of Environment, Energy, & Resources (May/June 2021)

Solving Climate Change Through a Grid Infrastructure Overhaul, Wharton Risk Management & Decision Center (July 26, 2019)

A Turning Point in the Deference Wars, The Regulatory Review (July 9, 2019)

Laying Bare the Realpolitik of Administrative Deconstruction, SCOTUSblog (June 27, 2019)

The Empty Case for Overruling Auer Deference, The Regulatory Review (Dec. 11, 2018)

Why Cabinet Secretaries Should Not Threaten Members of Congress, The Regulatory Review (Aug. 14, 2017) (with Cary Coglianese & Gabe Scheffler)

Ditch the Flawed Legislative Proposal to Police Agency Communications, The Regulatory Review (May 10, 2017)

Regulatory Leadership in Tackling Tobacco, The Regulatory Review (Jul. 29, 2015)

Sue-and-Settle Bill Threatens a Delicate Equilibrium, The Regulatory Review (May 19, 2015)

New ‘Sue-and-Settle’ Bill is Much Ado About Nothing, The Regulatory Review (Mar. 24, 2015)

Experts Debate EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Rule, The Regulatory Review (Dec. 15, 2014)

Improving Regulatory Agenda-Setting, The Regulatory Review (Nov. 17, 2014) (with Cary Coglianese)

Is There Hope for Expertise in Antitrust Law?, The Regulatory Review (Oct. 13, 2014)

Improving Regulatory Processes Around the World, The Regulatory Review (Aug. 26, 2014)

How Well is Obamacare Working?, The Regulatory Review (May 13, 2014)

Obama’s Regulatory Chief Speaks at Penn Law, The Regulatory Review (Apr. 30, 2014)

Analyzing the Job Impacts of Regulation, The Regulatory Review (Apr. 15, 2014)

Penn Seminar Explores New Responses to Flood Risks, The Regulatory Review (Jan. 21, 2014)

Supreme Court Confronts Interstate Air Pollution Regulation, The Regulatory Review (Dec. 12, 2013)

Do Regulations Kill Jobs?, The Regulatory Review (Nov. 4, 2013)

The Shutdown’s Impact on Regulation, The Regulatory Review (Oct. 11, 2013)

Working Projects

If We Build It Will They Legislate?: Empirically Testing the Non-Delegation Doctrine’s Potential to Curb Congressional Abdication

Lumpiness Problems in Energy Decarbonization

A Responsive Bureaucracy: A Text-Based Empirical Assessment of Presidential Influence over Rulemaking Agendas

The Politics of Prioritization: Strategy, Timing, and Petitions for Rulemaking

Round Two: A Half Century of EPA Rulemakings in the Courts (with Cary Coglianese)