Now showing items 1-20 of 624

    • Uptier Exchange Transactions: Lawful Innovation or Lender-on-Lender Violence?

      Skeen, Jackson (2023)
      This Note examines the recent phenomenon of “uptier exchange transactions”: transactions in which a borrower takes assignment of existing loans from participating lenders—those lenders holding a majority of the principal amount of the loan—and then issues new superpriority tranches of debt to the participating lenders, subordinating nonparticipating lenders in the process. Uptier exchange transactions were born in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to evolve in the courts. This Note analyzes these transactions and all major litigation concerning them to date. It makes a normative argument in favor of curbing the reach of uptier exchange transactions through equitable judicial interpretation. Finally, this Note proposes an amendment to Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code that would protect nonparticipating lenders against these transactions, invoking the Trust Indenture Act of 1939 as a textual model.
    • Restoring Indian Reservation Status: An Empirical Analysis

      Velchik, Michael K.; Zhang, Jeffery Y. (2023)
      In McGirt v. Oklahoma, the Supreme Court held that the eastern half of Oklahoma was Indian country. This bombshell decision was contrary to settled expectations and government practices spanning 111 years. It also was representative of an increasing trend of federal courts recognizing Indian sovereignty over large and economically significant areas of the country, even where Indians have not asserted these claims in many years and where Indians form a small minority of the inhabitants. Although McGirt and similar cases fundamentally turn on questions of statutory and treaty interpretation, they are often couched in consequence-based arguments about the good or bad economic effects of altering existing jurisdictional relationships. One side raises a “parade of horribles.” The other contends that “the sky is not falling.” Yet, to date, there is hardly any empirical literature to ground these debates. Litigants have instead been forced to rely upon impressionistic reasoning and economic intuitions. We evaluate these competing empirical claims by exploiting natural experiments: judicial rulings altering the status quo of Indian reservation status. Applying well-established econometric techniques, we first examine the Tenth Circuit’s Murphy v. Royal decision in 2017 and the Supreme Court’s McGirt v. Oklahoma decision in 2020, which both held that the eastern half of Oklahoma was in fact Indian country. To do so, we leverage monthly employment data at the county level, annual output data at the county level, and daily financial data for public companies incorporated in Oklahoma. Contrary to the “falling sky” hypothesis that recognition of Indian jurisdiction would negatively impact the local economy, we observe no statistically significant effect of the Tenth Circuit or Supreme Court opinions on economic output in the affected counties.
    • Commission Chairs

      Phillips, Todd (2023)
      Since 1950, Congress has granted chairs of many multimember commissions chief-executive authority as a way to increase administrative efficiency. Although it intended to maintain the ability of commission majorities to dictate policy, it inadvertently strengthened the authority of chairs to such an extent that majorities cannot enact their preferred policies without their chair’s cooperation. Using their agenda authority and their authority to direct staff, chairs dictate which policy documents staff develop and which items receive a vote, meaning that a commission majority cannot enact policy if its chair prohibits staff from drafting a rule or refuses to allow a vote to occur. Despite this shift, it is common among scholars and judges to think of commissions as bodies of equals, resulting in applications of the unitary executive theory that fail to appropriately take into account the substantial amount of power chairs wield. This Article is the first comprehensive study of the authority of commission chairs, and it examines the statutes and power dynamics scholars routinely ignore. Using a novel dataset of all federal executive-branch commissions, this Article finds that the majority of commissions operate under a “strong-chair” model, while associate commissioners in fewer than one-in-five commissions have any statutory authority to restrict their chairs’ actions. Using this data, it evaluates the effects of the strong-chair model on commission governance and offers several changes that, if made, could give associate commissioners more control and supervisory authority over the agencies. Doing so would return chairs to their original role as officials who simply keep the agencies operating efficiently and ensure that majority rule drives commission actions. The Article then evaluates this research’s implications for doctrinal applications of the unitary executive theory. Because presidents appoint commission chairs, this research suggests that presidential control of independent agencies is far less attenuated than proponents of the unitary executive theory presently contemplate.
    • The Logic and Limits of the Federal Reserve Act

      Menand, Lev (2023)
      The Federal Reserve is a monetary authority subject to minimal executive and judicial oversight. It also has the power to create money, which permits it to disburse funds without drawing on the U.S. Treasury. Since 2008, it has leveraged this power to an unprecedented extent. It has rescued teetering financial conglomerates, purchased trillions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities, and opened numerous ad hoc lending facilities to support ordinary businesses, nonprofits, and municipalities. This Article identifies the causes and consequences of the Federal Reserve's expanded footprint by recovering the logic and limits of its enabling act. It argues that to understand the Federal Reserve—including its independence, expansion, and capacity—it is necessary first to understand the statutory scheme for money and banking. Congress chartered investor-owned banks to issue most of the money supply and established the Federal Reserve for a limited purpose: to administer the banking system. Congress equipped the Federal Reserve with an interrelated set of tools to achieve a specific objective: ensure that the banking system creates enough money to keep economic resources productively employed nationwide. The rise of shadow banks—firms that issue alternative forms of money without a bank charter—has impaired the Federal Reserve’s tools. As the Federal Reserve has scrambled to adapt, it has taken on tasks it was not built to handle. This evolution has prompted calls for the Federal Reserve to tackle even more policy challenges. It has also undermined the Federal Reserve’s ability to effectively achieve its core goals. An overloaded Federal Reserve is understandable, but not desirable. Congress should modernize the Federal Reserve Act, and the banking laws on which it depends, to improve monetary administration in the United States.
    • Privacy for Sale: The Law of Transactions in Consumers’ Private Data

      Bradley, Christopher G. (2023)
      Lawmakers, regulators, consumer advocates, and the business community have focused increasing attention on the policy issues that arise at the intersection of privacy, technology, and commerce. Yet the law governing what businesses can do with consumer data remains unsettled and unclear. The United States has no dedicated and comprehensive privacy law, relying instead on a patchwork of general consumer protection laws and industry-specific regulations like HIPAA. The FTC has created what scholars have called a “common law of privacy” through its enforcement actions and published guidance, but how privacy law applies to business practices often remains uncertain. This Article uncovers a large new trove of privacy law, elaborating the jurisprudence of privacy with reports submitted to courts in which hundreds of millions of consumers’ private information has been put up for sale. A unique provision of bankruptcy law requires the appointment of a privacy expert when consumer information is put up for sale, to report on the sale’s legality. These expert reports constitute an unrecognized but substantial body of privacy law. The Article presents and analyzes reports submitted from 2005 to 2020—a hand-collected dataset gathered from 141 court dockets. The reports dramatically increase what is known about how the “common law of privacy” applies in practice to sales of consumer data in a legal forum, and what the future of privacy law may hold.
    • Stakeholder Capitalism in the Time of COVID

      Bebchuk, Lucian A.; Kastiel, Kobi; Tallarita, Roberto (2023)
      This Article tests the claims of supporters of stakeholder capitalism (“stakeholderism”) in the context of the COVID pandemic. Supporters of stakeholderism advocate encouraging and relying on corporate leaders to use their discretion to serve stakeholders such as employees, customers, suppliers, local communities, and the environment. The pandemic followed and was accompanied by peak support for, and broad expressions of commitment to, stakeholderism from corporate leaders. Nonetheless, and even though the pandemic heightened risks to stakeholders, we document that corporate leaders negotiating deal terms failed to look after stakeholder interests. We conduct a detailed examination of all the $1B+ acquisitions of public companies that were announced from April 2020 to March 2022, totaling 122 acquisitions with an aggregate consideration exceeding $800 billion. We find that deal terms provided large gains for the shareholders of target companies, as well as substantial private benefits for corporate leaders.
    • The Promise & Perils of Open Finance

      Awrey, Dan; Macey, Joshua (2023)
      We are at the dawn of a new age of Open Finance. Open Finance seeks to harness the potential of new platform technology to enhance customer data access, sharing, portability, and interoperability—thereby leveling the informational playing field and fostering greater competition between incumbent financial institutions and a new breed of financial technology (fintech) disruptors. According to its proponents, this competition will yield a radical restructuring of the financial services industry, offering more and better choices for consumers looking to make fast payments, borrow money, invest their savings, manage household budgets, and compare financial products and services. The promise of Open Finance is very real. Yet its proponents have largely ignored the economics driving the development of the key players at the heart of this new infrastructure: data aggregators. Data aggregators are the connective tissue of Open Finance—the pipes through which most of this valuable data flow. Like other types of infrastructure, these pipes are characterized by economies of scale and network effects that erect substantial barriers to entry, undercut competition, and propel the market toward monopoly. In the United States, these dynamics are compounded by the highly fragmented structure of both the conventional financial services industry and the emerging fintech ecosystem. The result is an embryonic market structure in which a small handful of data aggregators have a massive head start, and where one company in particular—Plaid—already enjoys a dominant market position. This Article describes the promise and perils of Open Finance and explains how policymakers can tap into its potential while simultaneously preventing the abuse of monopoly power and avoiding the creation of a new strain of too-big-to-fail institutions.
    • Why Robinhood Is Not a Fiduciary

      Lin, Ya Sheng (2022)
      This Note examines the theoretical and practical limitations of regulating broker-dealers under a fiduciary-duty paradigm. Drawing on a recent example of fiduciary regulation of broker-dealers in Massachusetts, as well as recent literature on the theoretical underpinnings of fiduciary relationships, this Note argues that fintech broker-dealers like Robinhood lack the elements of “discretion” and “best interest” necessary to establish a fiduciary relationship. Beyond theoretical coherence, there are also practical reasons to seek an alternative to a fiduciary standard. These include the need to preserve the distinct market-making functions of broker-dealers and to address infrastructural problems beyond the scope of a recommendation. This Note proposes an alternative to fiduciary regulation: expanding Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity to include brokers like Robinhood.
    • Propertizing Environmental Attributes

      Wyman, Katrina M.; Minelli, Adalene (2022)
      Tangible environmental resources such as land and water have been the object of property rights and traded in markets for millennia. In a development largely unnoticed by legal scholars, technology now allows a new class of environmental resources that are much harder to see and touch to be measured and potentially sold—environmental attributes. Some of these resources have already been partially packaged into property rights for sale by some governments and private actors, such as actual and avoided carbon emissions, and the environmental benefits of renewable power and electric cars. However, other resources, such as avoided water use, remain unpropertized. Trading environmental attributes can help to achieve important societal objectives, such as decarbonizing the energy system, although there are also criticisms of using markets for these goals. This Article emphasizes that property rights need to be created in environmental attributes if policymakers and private actors wish to enlist markets to achieve societal goals. The Article explains the steps involved in creating property rights in environmental attributes. Drawing on the approaches already used to create property rights in some of these attributes, the Article identifies a menu of options for establishing property rights in attributes that currently can be measured and those that technology will allow to be isolated in the future. In addition, it applies this menu to recommend a first-in-time rule for establishing property rights in avoided electricity use from energy-efficient appliances and other energy saving measures, a prominent example of the recently recognized class of environmental attributes. Recognizing society’s growing interest in harnessing newer environmental attributes, this Article concludes that markets in such attributes could expand if the rules for initially allocating these resources were clarified.
    • The Dual-Class Spectrum

      Shobe, Gladriel; Shobe, Jarrod (2022)
      The debate over dual-class companies is longstanding and ongoing. However, scholars and regulators generally treat the question of whether a company is dual class as a binary one. If a company grants certain shareholders a separate class of stock with disproportionate voting rights, then the company is treated as a dual-class company. A company with only a single class of stock is never treated as dual class because it is assumed that the shareholders in a single-class company are treated equally. This Article uses an original dataset to provide a new perspective on the dual-class debate by showing that treating the distinction between dual-class and single-class as binary has caused scholars and regulators to miss the myriad ways in which insiders receive rights that are not available to public shareholders. The dataset shows the wide spectrum of control rights that purportedly single-class corporations grant to insider shareholders by contract rather than through high-vote stock. In fact, companies grant special rights to insiders through contractual mechanisms much more commonly than they do through traditional dual-class structures. Based on these findings, this Article argues that single-class companies that grant disproportionate control rights to insider shareholders by contract are single class in form, but dual class in substance, which, problematically, allows them to avoid the scrutiny and restrictions that protect public shareholders in traditional dual-class companies.
    • Democratizing Behavioral Economics

      Liscow, Zachary; Markovits, Daniel (2022)
      Behavioral law and economics (“BLE”)—arising from the insight that people make recognizable, systematic mistakes—has revolutionized policymaking. For example, in governments around the world, including the US, teams of experts seek to harness these insights, promising to do things like increase retirement savings. But there is a problem: economic experts do not look or think like the rest of the population. Their demographics and policy views are deeply unrepresentative. This would be less troubling if the experts were merely helping people pursue the behavior that the people themselves would undertake, as was the case in traditional law and economics. However, the whole point of behavioral economics is that such behavior is often not in people’s interest. Rather, in making judgments about the right policy, BLE has erected a new, shaky structure, based on ad hoc and often unstated normative assumptions. The result risks merely enacting the policy preferences (or biases) of unrepresentative experts and thereby distorting policymaking. We propose a new approach—democratic BLE—in which behavioral economists, rather than dictating what the right policy or action is, instead inform representative samples of ordinary people about the evidence, including specifically about their own behavioral biases, and let them decide for themselves. Those decisions, rather than experts’ opinions alone, then inform policymakers. Our approach harnesses the insights of behavioral economics, but in a way that lets the people themselves, rather than the behavioral expert, be the arbiter of the good life.
    • Hidden Agendas in Shareholder Voting

      Hirst, Scott; Robertson, Adriana Z. (2022)
      Nothing in either corporate or securities law requires companies to notify investors what they will be voting on before the record date for a shareholder meeting. We show that, overwhelmingly, they do not. The result is “hidden agendas”: for 88% of shareholder votes, investors cannot find out what they will be voting on before the record date. This poses an especially serious problem for investors who engage in securities lending: they must decide whether the expected benefit of voting exceeds the expected benefit of continuing to lend their shares (or making them available for lending) without knowing what they will be voting on. All investors who engage in share lending are affected, but the problem is particularly acute for large investment managers that have fiduciary duties related to voting. At present, they must discharge these duties in the dark. We propose a straightforward solution: an amendment to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proxy rules requiring public companies to file proxy statements at least five days before the record date for the meeting. This simple change would give investors the information they need to make an informed decision about whether to retain the right to vote or not. If we believe that shareholder voting is important, and that investment managers and others should decide whether to vote, we should give them the information they need to do so.
    • Cost-Based California Effects

      Frankenreiter, Jens (2022)
      The “California Effect” is a recurring trope in discussions about regulatory interdependence. This effect predicts that businesses active in multiple jurisdictions sometimes adopt the strictest regulatory standards that they face in any jurisdiction globally, even if the jurisdiction’s law does not require global compliance. As the argument goes, California Effects often occur because firms find it less expensive to comply with the most stringent standard everywhere than to provide different products to consumers in different jurisdictions based on the relevant local standards. There is a substantial literature that assumes the existence of such Cost-Based California Effects both at the interstate level in the United States and the international level, where they often appear in connection with the EU’s regulatory activities under the moniker “Brussels Effect.” However, empirical evidence documenting these effects’ existence and strength is scarce. This Article makes two contributions. On a theoretical level, it argues that Cost-Based California Effects should be treated separately from other forms of cross-jurisdictional influence, as their normative implications differ. On an empirical level, it reports results from a case study investigating the existence of these effects in data privacy law, a field in which they have been said to be particularly influential. The analysis tracks changes in almost 700 webpages’ privacy policies in order to reveal the extent to which EU law (which is usually described as comparably stringent) influences transactions between U.S. online services and consumers. The analysis covers two years starting in November 2017, a period that saw the enactment of a new, sweeping data privacy law in the EU. Contrary to what many assume, the analysis reveals that most U.S. online services treat U.S. consumers and EU consumers differently, with EU consumers enjoying higher levels of protection. This result indicates that the impact of EU law on the operations of U.S. online services is limited. Moreover, it suggests that Cost-Based California Effects might be less important than is commonly assumed, at least in data privacy law.
    • Presidential Transitions: The New Rules

      Davis Noll, Bethany A.; Revesz, Richard L. (2022)
      The Trump Administration was unusually aggressive in using an obscure set of tools to undo the Obama Administration’s regulatory legacy: Congressional Review Act disapprovals, requests that courts hold in abeyance pending cases challenging Obama-era regulations, and suspensions of final regulations. These actions could be seen as part of the Trump Administration norm-breaking approach to regulatory policy, under which it also provided shoddy justifications for its actions, ignored statutory commands, and failed to comply with procedural requirements. There has been a general assumption that the norm-breaking was a result of the Trump Administration’s lack of respect for the rule of law and that it would subside when a new administration took office. This Article challenges this assumption, showing that the Trump-era toolkit on rollbacks has now also been used aggressively—in some cases more aggressively—by the Biden Administration. Actions that might have been seen as an aberration four years ago should now be regarded as integral components of the administrative state. In a 2019 Article describing the Trump Administration’s aggressive rollback tools, we predicted that the nature of the presidency would change in significant ways as a result. A one-term president will likely not be able to implement much regulatory policy that is durable. And to do so, a president has a much shorter period during which regulations are likely to be protected from quick undoing by a successor of the opposite party, from roughly three-and-a-half years to about two years. The impact of this trend is particularly significant because, during the current era of congressional gridlock, presidents rely on regulations as the primary way in which to implement their domestic policy programs. In this Article, we provide new evidence from the Biden Administration showing that these changes are here to stay.
    • Climate Change Attribution Science and the Endangered Species Act

      Wentz, Jessica (2022)
      Climate change poses an enormous risk to plant and animal species across the planet. Mean global temperatures have already increased by approximately 1ºC, causing environmental changes that affect species abundance, distribution, behavior, physiology, genetics, and survival prospects. These changes, combined with other human stressors, have already resulted in the extinction of some species and imperiled many others. In the United States, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is the primary legal vehicle for the protection and management of species at risk of extinction. The statute and accompanying regulations outline a science-based framework for identifying endangered and threatened species, establishing critical habitat boundaries, and mitigating the harmful impacts of public and private-sector activities on listed species. Although climate change is not explicitly mentioned in the statute, there is no question that agencies must consider climate-related threats when implementing the ESA. This Article examines the uniquely important role of climate change detection and attribution research in federal decision-making and judicial review under the ESA. This research provides insights on how climate change is already affecting species and habitats and is therefore integral to decisions about: (i) whether to list a species as threatened or endangered on the basis of climate-related threats, and (ii) how to support species recovery through critical habitat designations and other management actions. Courts have held that attribution research qualifies as the “best available science” that must be considered in ESA decision-making and that agencies cannot ignore attribution research on the basis of uncertainty or imprecision where the data suggests that there is a probable threat to a species. They have also consistently upheld the federal government’s use of attribution data to support ESA protections for climate-imperiled species.
    • Climate Change Cosmopolitanism

      Sunstein, Cass R. (2022)
      Do foreign lives matter? When? How much? If one nation damages another, what are its obligations, as a matter of law and policy? These questions can be approached and understood in diverse ways, but they are concretized in debates over the “social cost of carbon,” which is sometimes described as the linchpin of national climate policy. The social cost of carbon, meant to capture the damage done by a ton of carbon emissions, helps to determine the stringency of regulations in many domains, including emissions limits on motor vehicles and on stationary sources. In determining the social cost of carbon, agencies must decide whether to use the global number (as chosen by Presidents Barack Obama and Joe Biden) or instead the domestic number (as chosen by President Donald Trump). Use of the global number should be seen as a form of climate change cosmopolitanism, whether the grounding is moral, strategic, or otherwise. Within the constraints of governing statutes, there are four central arguments in favor of using the global figure. (1) The epistemic argument: experts do not know a great deal about the purely domestic harms from climate change, which makes it impossible to generate a purely domestic number. (2) The interconnectedness argument: harms done to U.S. citizens by domestic emissions are not limited to those directly brought about by the incremental increase in temperatures within the territorial boundaries of the United States; they include an assortment of harms to U.S. citizens living abroad and harms to U.S. citizens and interests that come as a result of the cascading effects of harm done to foreigners (including governments, companies, and individuals), which are ultimately felt by U.S. citizens or within the United States. (3) The moral cosmopolitan argument: in deciding on the scope of its regulations, the United States has a moral obligation to take account of the harms it does to non-Americans. (4) The reciprocity argument: if all nations used a domestic figure, all nations would lose; a successful approach to the climate problem requires nations to treat greenhouse gas emissions as a global, and not merely domestic, externality. Neither the epistemic argument nor the incompleteness argument justifies the choice of the global number.
    • Naïve Administrative Law: Complexity, Delegation and Climate Policy

      Spence, David B. (2022)
      The Supreme Court’s ongoing efforts to narrow the contours of administrative agencies’ policymaking discretion comes at a particularly inopportune time. The nation faces a set of increasingly complex and pressing national problems, including climate change, that require the simultaneous application of careful deliberation and expertise, something Congress is ill-suited to do in the best of times—but particularly so in this hyper-polarized era. Were the Court to fully embrace the Major Questions Doctrine, it would likely render environmental and energy regulators powerless to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the energy sector under their enabling statutes, despite the centrality of that task to their missions and plausible arguments that Congress has already delegated them that power. It would also call into question the legitimacy of many other existing regulatory regimes, throwing regulatory policy into chaos. The Doctrine draws a flawed distinction between policymaking and policy implementation based upon the economic and political significance of the decisions involved; if there is a useful distinction to be made between those two activities, it rests on the distinction between ends and means, the what questions and the how questions. The Framers’ design requires that Congress be able to delegate these difficult, complex, contentious “how” questions to the executive branch. Now more than ever, regulatory agencies—not Congress—can best produce decisions that reflect the “permanent and aggregate interests of the community.”
    • All the Tools in the Toolbox: A Plea for Flexibility and Open Minds in Assessing the Costs and Benefits of Climate Rules

      Sinden, Amy (2022)
      As the Biden Administration works on updating the social cost of carbon (SCC), some economists are urging a different approach, known as the “Marginal Abatement Cost” (MAC) method or the “target-consistent” approach. Rather than attempting to calculate all the damage caused worldwide by each ton of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, the MAC approach instead asks: what is the highest amount of money per ton that society will need to be willing to pay if we are going to successfully meet greenhouse gas reduction targets? This approach has the virtue of avoiding the most intractable complexities and uncertainties involved in estimating the SCC, including embedded ethical judgments about the degree to which the interests of future generations should be discounted in comparison to our own and the scope of the relevant “society” across which climate damages should be measured. Nonetheless, the MAC approach has come under fire from cost-benefit purists who argue, first, that it is inappropriate as a matter of good policymaking and, second, that it is prohibited by law. Both claims are at a minimum overstated and arguably outright wrong. As a matter of both legal mandate and good policy, the Biden Administration would do well to avoid the CBA orthodoxy that some commentators advocate. Instead, the Administration should as a matter of good policy—and can as a matter of law—make use of the rich variety of tools in the regulatory decision-making toolbox, including the MAC approach, in developing climate policy.
    • The Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases: Legal, Economic, and Institutional Perspective

      Revesz, Richard L.; Sarinsky, Max (2022)
      The social cost of greenhouse gases provides the best available method to quantify and monetize the climate damages attributable to the emission of an incremental unit of heat-trapping pollution. Accordingly, the metric can be highly useful for crafting policies that will reduce the nation’s greenhouse gas footprint, with potential usages including weighing the impacts of proposed fossil-fuel projects, assessing grant applications and procurement decisions that have climate impacts, and crafting fee schedules for monetary rates that will internalize the cost of climate damages onto polluters. To date, however, the use of the social cost of greenhouse gases for such determinations and processes has been sporadic and fairly limited. It is time for this practice to change, as broad application of the social cost of greenhouse gases will enable agencies and departments to identify programs or policies that cost-effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus enable a speedy and efficient transition to a greener economy. Because widespread use of the social cost of greenhouse gases would lend support to many decisions to transition away from fossil fuels, the methodology has become subject to criticism from opponents of climate reforms. While critics attempt to discredit the federal government’s social cost of greenhouse gases valuations—arguing that these values overestimate climate costs, disregard best practices, and even usurp the legislative function from Congress—such criticisms lack merit and should not deter agencies from broadly applying the social cost of greenhouse gases. This Article evaluates the various legal, economic, and institutional controversies surrounding the social cost of greenhouse gases and explains why this metric should play a critical role in guiding agency policymaking and decision-making related to climate change.
    • “The Grass is Not Always Greener” Revisited: Climate Change Regulation Amid Political Polarization

      Osofsky, Hari M.; Peel, Jacqueline (2022)
      In 2016, we co-authored a symposium article, The Grass is Not Always Greener: Congressional Dysfunction, Executive Action, and Climate Change in Comparative Perspective, 91 CHI.-KENT L. REV. 139 (2016), that compared the impact of polarization on the process of creating climate change law and policy in the United States and Australia. We found that while the United States relied heavily on administrative regulation because comprehensive climate change legislation could not pass Congress, Australia’s flip-flopping legislation did not offer a demonstrably superior solution. We did not at the time foresee the political changes that would take place in both countries over the five years that followed. The transitions from President Obama to President Trump to President Biden have involved dramatic shifts in regulatory policy at the same time as the same conservative Coalition government has until recently continued to hold power in Australia. This Article revisits our thesis, given these changes, that both forms of government face barriers to effective lawmaking when deep partisan divisions exist. We find that although the politics of particular periods may make one political system more stable in approach than the other, neither country has made consistent progress in addressing the problem of climate change. In addition, subnational governments and other key stakeholders have taken action in both countries when confronted with partisan barriers at the federal level. We conclude that the dramatic regulatory shifts in the United States and the limited regulatory action in Australia over the past five years only bolster the importance of advancing substantive and structural strategies that foster greater cooperation.