In recent years an arcane term from political science—the “administrative state”—has become a prominent part of everyday discussion. The administrative state refers to the trend, decades in the making, of transferring lawmaking power away from the legislative branch of government to permanent, unelected bureaucrats and executive agencies. The administrative state undermines a central principle of the Constitution—the separation of powers—and dilutes both responsibility and accountability, as well as putting government beyond the control and consent of the governed—”we, the people.”

As the American Enterprise Institute’s Peter J. Wallison explains in his new book, Judicial Fortitude: The Last Chance to Rein in the Administrative State, this constitutional decay came about because the judiciary abdicated its responsibility to defend the separation of powers decades ago, and Wallison argues why and how the Supreme Court needs to lead the way back to restoring the Constitution. In particular, in this conversation we explore the “non-delegation doctrine” and the effect of the “Chevron doctrine” in supercharging runaway and sometimes lawless government-by-bureaucracy. Judicial Fortitudeis a wonderfully compact, quick-moving yet substance-rich introduction to this issue.

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Published in: Law, Podcasts, Politics