Last night, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Donald Trump, Jr. criticized Dodd-Frank and the rapidly overgrowing administrative state in his keynote speech. He called today's administrative state a “regulatory state on steroids,” and noted, as an example, that Dodd-Frank itself was approximately 1,000 pages long, and that the federal government has issued approximately 22,000 pages in accompanying regulations.  He also said, almost certainly referring to the essentially-unaccountable Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,[1] that Dodd-Frank “doesn't help consumers, what it does is destroy small-business in favor of big business, who can afford the vast number of lawyers and accountants needed to comply.”

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorganChase, confirmed in early 2013 what Trump, Jr. said tonight. Dimon told a Citi analyst that Dodd-Frank and its many new attendant rules and regulations, plus higher capital requirements, acted as a “bigger moat,” or barrier to entry, for new or smaller banks, thus practically guaranteeing a market share increase for megabanks such as JPMorganChase, the very ones that Dodd-Frank called “too big to fail.” Dodd-Frank is only one of many examples where more regulation, no matter how well-intentioned, ended up helping big businesses and reduced competition. It is inescapable that increasing regulatory complexity on any major industry automatically increases compliance costs, which thus (1) discourages new entrants or smaller companies, (2) instead rewards existing big companies who can afford to hire huge teams of lawyers, accountants, and consultants, and (3) reduces competition. This is why Trump, Jr. said that “Dodd-Frank is consumer protection for billionaires.”

Trump, Jr.'s speech tonight is an important historical marker for administrative law to receive such prominent placement at a national political convention. Administrative law issues, while perhaps “unsexy,” are very important; hopefully voters will continue to pay attention to them throughout the campaign season and beyond.

[1] To learn more about Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, please read the chapter which C. Boyden Gray and I wrote regarding Dodd-Frank's executive overreach in Liberty's Nemesis:  The Unchecked Expansion Of The State (2016), edited by Dean Reuter and John Yoo, available at  It is the first and only book chapter on Dodd-Frank and the CFPB, and perhaps on administrative law in general, which cited Tupac Shakur.