Author Archives: Aaron Nielson

About Aaron Nielson

Faculty Website Curriculum Vitae

J.D., Harvard Law School, 2007

LL.M., University of Cambridge Faculty of Law, 2006

B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 2003

Professor Nielson teaches and writes in the areas of administrative law, civil procedure, federal courts, and antitrust. His publications have appeared in journals such as the University of Chicago Law Review, the Northwestern Law Review, the Georgetown Law Journal, Emory Law Journal, and Southern California Law Review. He currently serves as a public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States, a federal agency that studies the administrative process and makes recommendations on ways to improve it. He also co-chairs the Rulemaking Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice. Previously he chaired the Section's Antitrust & Trade Regulation Committee.

Before joining the faculty, Professor Nielson was a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP (where he remains of counsel). He also has served as a law clerk to Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. of the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and Judge Jerry E. Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Professor Nielson received his J.D. from Harvard Law School. Following graduation, he was awarded a Harvard Law School Post-Graduate Research Fellowship. Professor Nielson also received an LL.M from the University of Cambridge, where he focused his studies on the institutions that regulate global competition and commerce. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in economics and political science.

D.C. Circuit Review – Reviewed: Playing the Lottery

by Aaron Nielson — Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018@Aaron_L_Nielson

Apologies: This post was written quickly. My evening was spent at a D.C. Circuit-ish event. The D.C. Circuit and “Net Neutrality” have a long history. Here is a short, very simplified version of it.* In 2002, the FCC decided that internet access was an “information service” rather than a “common-carrier” service. The decision was challenged […]

D.C. Circuit Review – Reviewed: The Middle Chapters

by Aaron Nielson — Friday, Jan. 12, 2018@Aaron_L_Nielson

Have you ever read the unabridged Les Misérables?* One of my favorite activities — unfortunately, not one I do all that often — is reading 19th century fiction. For a long time, my favorite author was Thackeray. Recently, however, I’ve started re-reading the greatest hits of Victor Hugo. And sure enough, Les Misérables is an […]

D.C. Circuit Review – Reviewed: Resolved 2018

by Aaron Nielson — Friday, Jan. 5, 2018@Aaron_L_Nielson

Something unexpected happened last Saturday night. I was hard at work — true story, grading exams — in my home when the clock struck midnight. At that moment I heard fireworks! And it was not just from one house. I was more than a little puzzled. Who in the world would launch fireworks to celebrate […]

D.C. Circuit Review – Reviewed: Floods, Fires, and Clerkships

by Aaron Nielson — Friday, Dec. 29, 2017@Aaron_L_Nielson

In the aftermath of Watergate, a young — well, young-ish — Antonin Scalia found himself defending executive privilege before Congress. This is how he closed his remarks: “I realize that anyone saying a few kind words about executive privilege after the events of the last few years is in a position somewhat akin the man […]

D.C. Circuit Review – Reviewed: Bye-Bye, Browning-Ferris

by Aaron Nielson — Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017@Aaron_L_Nielson

(Apologies; this post was written quickly — and at 30,000 feet.) This has been a busy week. What to write about? The White House released the Unified Agenda. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to review it yet. The Administrative Conference of the United States finished its plenary session.* Emily Bremer, however, will have that […]

D.C. Circuit Review – Reviewed: Thoughts from Judge Randolph

by Aaron Nielson — Friday, Dec. 8, 2017@Aaron_L_Nielson

The D.C. Circuit issued no opinions this week. But that doesn’t mean there is no news. For instance, Adam Feldman suggested yesterday that Judge Brett Kavanaugh may be “The Next Nominee to the Supreme Court.”* Likewise, Judge Raymond Kethledge of the Sixth Circuit published a significant essay about Chevron — in which he discusses his […]

“Optimal Ossification” — My New Paper

by Aaron Nielson — Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017@Aaron_L_Nielson

A draft of my latest paper — Optimal Ossification — is now available. It will be published next spring in the George Washington Law Review’s annual administrative law issue.* Here is the abstract: One of the dirtiest words in administrative law is “ossification”—the term used for the notion that procedural requirements force agencies to spend […]

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Chenery II * May * Pose a Threat to Liberty

by Aaron Nielson — Monday, Nov. 27, 2017@Aaron_L_Nielson

It appears my post from last week was not as clear as I had hoped. I hate when that happens! In particular, I don’t think Professor Richard Pierce — who literally wrote the book on administrative law — and I disagree all that much. Yet he says “the threat to liberty McGahn and Nielson ascribe […]

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