February 03, 2014
Obama nominates Bay to head FERC: Prosecutorial Administration revisited
Posted by Erik Gerding

Congratulations to my former colleague at the University of New Mexico, Norm Bay.  News came down at the end of last week that the President nominated Bay to be the next Chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  Before joining the UNM faculty, Bay served as a career prosecutor and was named the U.S. Attorney for New Mexico.  

This continues a microtrend of the President placing former prosecutors at the head of federal agencies (See, e.g., M.J. White).  It also asks for reconsidering Rachel Barkow's Prosecutorial Administration law review article from a few years back.  If prosecutors increasingly shape regulatory policy, don't they also increasingly have the skill set to make policy more directly?  If prosecution increasingly shapes policy in a given field, does it make more sense to integrate the two - and, if so, shouldn't we see more prosecutors in charge of agencies?  

Of course, we might also ask whether we should have experts in other fields of public administration -- economists -- increasingly influence decisions to prosecute or not to prosecute.  

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