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Abstract

This Article is an exploration of the twists and turns of the never-ending assault on the administrative state. Without attempting to resolve all of the separation of powers controversies that have existed since the beginning of the Republic, this Article examines and analyzes the fundamental constitutional challenges to the administrative state as well as the more peripheral constitutional difficulties involving the administrative state and the nonconstitutional legal challenges that have arisen over the decades. In my view, the legal and political arguments made in favor of major structural changes to the administrative state do not provide sufficient normative bases for such change. In fact, most of them are inconsistent with a reasonable understanding of the Constitution of the United States and are normatively inferior to the status quo.

The Article proceeds as follows. Part I sets forth the key elements of the administrative state, as designed by Congress and approved by the Supreme Court. Part II sets out and analyzes the assault on the administrative state in the courts, Congress, and, to a lesser extent, the executive branch itself. And Part III discusses the scholarly assault on the administrative state, focusing largely on the work of Gary Lawson and Phillip Hamburger.

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