Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on October 18, 2016

in Law, Legal Issues, Regulation

… is from pages 31-32 of Columbia University law professor Philip Hamburger’s superb and timely 2014 book – whose title poses a question to which the book’s lengthy text gives the answer “yes” – Is Administrative Law Unlawful?:

41m1v7aaatl-_ac_us320_ql65_The history thereby shows that administrative lawmaking returns to precisely the sort of extralegal governance that constitutional law was designed to prohibit.  Although it is often said that administrative regulation could not have been anticipated by the Constitution and therefore was not barred by it, it will be seen that administrative lawmaking reverts back to the extralegal legislation that provided the development of constitutional law.  In other words, the Constitution’s grant of legislative power to Congress developed not only to authorize and control the acts of the legislature, but also to bar any prerogative or other extralegal legislative acts.  It therefore is disturbing that administrative legislation returns to this sort of legislation – the sort of power exercised not through the law, but outside it.

Because “Progressives” regard the state much as Christians and many other religious people regard their gods – specifically, as all-knowing and benevolent doers of good and dispensers of cosmic justice – “Progressives” want no constraints on the scope of their savior, the state, to save us.  Constitutional checks and balances, separation of powers, and limitations on state power are supported only by the heathen and the heretically unfaithful.

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