May 9, 2024

American Constitution Society Announces Winners of 2024 Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition

Contact: Nancy Rodriguez,

Cudahy Award winners Nicholas Handler and Ling Ritter

Washington, D.C. –  The American Constitution Society (ACS) is pleased to announce the lawyer and law student winners of the 2024 Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law.

This year’s lawyer winner is Nicholas Handler, Thomas C. Grey Fellow and Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School.

This year’s law student winner is Ling Ritter, a student at Stanford Law School.

“I am pleased to announce the winners of the 2024 Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law,” said ACS President Russ Feingold. “ACS is dedicated to promoting legal scholarship that contributes to our understanding of administrative and regulatory law. The authors of this year’s winning papers have written on timely and important matters as courts around the country hear ongoing challenges to administrative and regulatory precedent related to labor, abortion, and the environment.”

The Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law honors Judge Cudahy’s distinguished contributions to the fields of regulatory and administrative law. He combined a keen grasp of legal doctrine, deep insight into the institutional forces that determine how doctrine is implemented, and an appreciation of the public impact of doctrinal and institutional choices, including the consequences for fundamental values such as fairness, participation, and transparency. The award seeks to encourage and reward these qualities in the scholarship of others.

Handler is recognized for his article, Separation of Powers by Contract: How Collective Bargaining Reshapes Presidential Power, which was published in the New York University Law Review. The article examines how federal sector labor law has been used to check and restrain presidential power. He argues that civil service labor rights, though largely overlooked, restructure and legitimize the modern executive branch by incorporating values of democratic and legal accountability.

Ritter’s winning paper, Elephants in Mouseholes: The Major Questions Doctrine in the Lower Courts, is forthcoming in the Stanford Law Review and explores how litigants and lower courts are grappling with important questions left open by the Supreme Court’s major questions doctrine decisions, including how to determine whether a question is “major,” whether a congressional authorization is “clear,” and how the doctrine might affect other administrative law principles. Using a set of “first movers,” she identifies emerging trends to shed light on where the major questions doctrine currently stands and where the doctrine might be headed.

Each of the winners will receive a cash prize of $1,500. They will also receive special recognition at the 2024 ACS National Convention, June 6-8 in Atlanta, GA.


The American Constitution Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan legal organization. Through a diverse nationwide network of progressive lawyers, law students, judges, scholars, advocates, and many others, our mission is to support and advocate for laws and legal systems that redress the founding failures of our Constitution, strengthen our democratic legitimacy, uphold the rule of law, and realize the promise of equality for all, including people of color, women, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, and other historically excluded communities. For more information, visit us at or on Twitter @acslaw.