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This unit for the No. 86 video project aims to educate law students about the history and function of the administrative state and to raise questions about controversies that have developed over the scope of power that agencies frequently exercise.
Fundamentally, this unit on administrative law will underscore a fundamental dichotomy between more and less government. On the surface, administrative law looks apolitical (bipartisan support, use of regulations to create law by both parties, unelected agency staff, etc.). But in practice, whether we have more or less government is itself a complex political and philosophical debate.
“It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it.”
― Madison, Federalist No. 48
This series ultimately aims to draw viewers into that debate. It will challenge underlying philosophical assumptions, raise questions about and counterpoints to how the subject is typically presented, and otherwise provoke deeper thought and more critical reflection about ‘who watches the watchmen?’
Questions to be explored include:
Introduction to Administrative Law
The Administrative State & the Constitution (forthcoming)
Administrative Law & Congress
Administrative Law & The Executive
Administrative Law & Courts
The New Deal era serves as the aesthetic inspiration for this series. This is a rhetorical nod to the fact that the shift to the Administrative State coincided with that era. Stylization includes art, designs, and music from the Depression era: cinema from that era, paper cutouts of objects from 1930’s, art deco stylistic details, and the like.
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This module the No. 86 video series gives an overview of the study of Administrative Law. Congress delegates power to various entities, administrative agencies, in order to achieve various policy goals. Administrative law designates the use of the power that Congress has delegated
One of the main functions of administrative agencies is to create regulations. This series discusses how agency rulemaking works in practice: the scope of agencies’ authority to write regulations, core processes, the review and scrutiny that rules are subject to, and how agency rulemaking fits in with the democratic process.
This series explores the intersection of Executive Power and administrative agencies.
Who makes laws? Congress has power from Article I to create laws, yet the vast majority of laws today come from administrative agencies, who promulgate administrative rules with the force of law. This unit explores the Constitutional questions implicated in agency lawmaking.
How does judicial review of administrative agencies work? This unit of the No. 86 video project discusses judicial deference doctrines, particularly Chevron deference and current debates about whether and how it might be reconsidered.