In a Federalist Society blog posted on August 9, 2017, “The Danger Posed by the Growing Administrative State,” I discussed and linked to my Washington Times op-ed of the same title.
At the beginning of that commentary I said:
I am not especially enamored of the “deep state” label or of overwrought conspiracy theories. And I don’t much take to hyperbolic bureaucrat-bashing or indiscriminate attacks on all federal regulations. Indeed, there are many regulations, especially in the health and safety areas, that serve important public purposes.
But surely there is a case to be made for the proposition that, as Chief Justice John Roberts put it in 2013 in his City of Arlington v. FCC dissent, “the danger posed by the growing power of the administrative state cannot be dismissed.” In that case, Chief Justice Roberts argued, on separation of powers grounds, that the deference regularly given by courts to statutory interpretations by federal administrative agencies — even to agency interpretations regarding their own jurisdictional boundaries — has led to an administrative state that “wields vast power and touches almost every aspect of daily life.”
And I concluded this way:
In his monumental work, “The Constitution of Liberty,” F.A. Hayek observed, with regard to regulations, that “their over-all cost is almost always underestimated,” while “the prevention of new developments” is never fully considered. Certainly, Hayek’s critique applies to the FCC’s attempt to micromanage the dynamic environment inhabited by internet providers.
There’s no need to conjure up the “deep state” to justify worrying, along with Chief Justice Roberts, about “the growing power of the administrative state.”
In a follow-on Washington Times op-ed, “Real Progress on Regulatory Reform,” published on August 16, I contend that, whatever else one may think about any of President Trump’s or Congress’s actions or inactions, there has been meaningful progress on the regulatory reform front. In other words, there have been significant steps taken by both the executive and legislative branches to counter the growing power of the administrative state.
My recent “Real Progress on Regulatory Reform” op-ed concludes this way:
The regulatory reform actions taken by Mr. Trump and Congress have a beneficial impact on the economy. More fundamentally, they also are important because, consistent with the Founders’ constitutional vision, they are steps in the direction of restoring more political control over the bureaucracy. The executive orders issued by Mr. Trump put in place measures that help his political appointees at the federal agencies carry out the chief executive’s regulatory policies. And Congress’ use of the long-neglected Congressional Review Act to overturn regulations with which it disagrees reinvigorates the legislature’s lawmaking function.
Depending on your perspective, there may be much to criticize when it comes to the actions — or inactions — of President Trump and Congress. But with regard to regulatory reform, there have been noteworthy accomplishments.
Please click here to read the complete op-ed.