Classic Case - Senator Kennedy and the Civil Aeronautics Board: Part I

Senator Kennedy and the Civil Aeronautics Board: Part I


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  • Product Description

    In 1974, Senator Edward Kennedy, in his role as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Administrative Practice and Procedures of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was looking for an issue on which to focus. Kennedy contacted Harvard law professor Stephen Breyer (named to the Supreme Court in 1994), who suggested the subcommittee look at the efforts of administrative agencies to regulate various industries. To begin with, he recommended reviewing the policies of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB). Part I of this case provides background on the airline industry and the CAB, then discusses the pros and cons of focusing hearings on economic regulation in general, and on CAB and the airlines in particular. Part II describes the methods Breyer used to orchestrate the CAB hearings -- from planning the "theme" of each session, to the ordering of witnesses, to the way questions were prepared. The sequel summarizes the major recommendations of the subcommittee, and discusses the need for institutionalizing the reforms by writing new legislation.

    Learning Objective:
    Overall, the case illustrates the strategic role of hearings in furthering both political and policy goals, and the importance of tactical thinking in staging hearings. It shows that, as a result of careful planning, Breyer achieved his twin objectives in the hearings: to build a solid case for airline deregulation, and to attract public attention to the problem.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: January 01, 1977
    HKS Case Number: 157.0
    Case Author: Donald Simon
    Faculty Lead: Philip Heymann and Stephen G. Breyer
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 35
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    _pages: 25+
    _geography: US & Canada
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