The Supreme Court Takes on the Administrative State

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Recently Kevin Price, Host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business Show, interviewed Alex Brill.

Price and Brill discuss the surprising decision by the Supreme Court to curtail the powers of the bureaucracy when it comes to environmental legislation.
What is the Administrative State?

We experience most of our government interactions through various agencies. While law leaves much of the decision-making up to elected officials, in the administrative state most of the decisions are made by unelected bureaucrats. Because of this, citizens are left at the mercy of these agencies and lack any real control. This lack of control can lead to overreach and profound damage. So, what is the administrative state?

The most fundamental problem with an administrative state is that it violates the principle of republican government, which holds that power must be derived from the consent of the governed, which is expressed directly through elections. Furthermore, this process runs counter to the rule of law that can be found through traditional judicial processes. Therefore, the administrative state has become a widespread political and economic phenomenon. As the government is reformed, the American regime has shifted from a republic to a bureaucracy.

The debate over the administrative state is often framed in terms of a set of procedural rights. Procedural rights encompass debates over individual due process and standing before administrative agency actions. In particular procedural rights revolve around the rights of citizens to participate in agency rulemaking and decision-making processes.

According to the American Enterprise Institute, “Alex Brill is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies the impact of tax policy on the US economy as well as the fiscal, economic, and political consequences of tax, budget, health care, retirement security, and trade policies. He is the editor of Carbon Tax Policy: A Conservative Dialogue on Pro-Growth Opportunities. Before joining AEI, Brill served as the policy director and chief economist of the House Ways and Means Committee. Previously, he served on the staff of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. He has served on the staff of the President’s Fiscal Commission (Simpson-Bowles) and the Republican Platform Committee (2008). He is also the founder and CEO of the economic consulting firm Matrix Global Advisors (MGA). Brill has an MA in mathematical finance from Boston University and a BA in economics from Tufts University.”


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