“Is Administrative Law Unlawful?”

by Walter Olson on June 23, 2014

Columbia lawprof Philip Hamburger is out with a book of high importance on the administrative state and the legality of its actions, and Cato had him in to speak earlier this month, with D.C. Circuit Judge Stephen Williams commenting and Cato’s Roger Pilon moderating (video, podcast links). The event description:

When law in America can be made by executive “pen and phone” alone — indeed, by a White House press release — we’re faced starkly with a fundamental constitutional question: Is administrative law unlawful? Answering in the affirmative in this far-reaching, erudite new treatise, Philip Hamburger traces resistance to rule by administrative edict from the Middle Ages to the present. Far from a novel response to modern society and its complexities, executive prerogative has deep roots. It was beaten back by English constitutional ideas in the 17th century and even more decisively by American constitutions in the 18th century, but it reemerged during the Progressive Era and has grown ever since, regardless of the party in power.

Earlier here, etc.

{ 1 comment }

1 AndyK 06.23.14 at 9:20 am

I was highly skeptical (and still am, to an extent), but Hamburger’s talk sold at least one copy of his book. He was excellent, and I really recommend the talk for anyone interested in arguably the most important legal issue of our time. Everyone I was with enjoyed it.

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