Is Administrative Law Unlawful? reviewed

Hamburger29 When I set out writing about Philip Hamburger’s Is Administrative Law Unlawful?, I did so for two reasons. First, it’s the most important book I have read in a long time. Second, it’s a forbidding work of legal history that makes few concessions to the general reader. It isn’t easy reading and I thought it was at risk of being widely ignored.

I do think the book was at risk of being ignored, but I am delighted to note that the conservative press has taken notice. The Wall Street Journal ran a review of the book by Adam White (behind the Journal’s annoying paywall). The review is slightly lame, in my opinion, but it brought the book to the attention of the Journal’s enormous readership, and White followed up with a Federalist Society podcast here.

Now comes Ilan Wurman with his review of the book in the new issue of the Weekly Standard. Wurman does a good job summarizing Hamburger’s argument. Wurman’s review is excellent, lacking only a treatment of the issue of congressional delegation of legislative authority and the German law background that Hamburger traces at the end of the book. I have also ignored the German law background; I trust that it will be duly noted when the Claremont Review of Books checks in.

My own review of the book is set to appear in the forthcoming issue of National Review. I will return to the subject when my NR review is published, as I hope it will be. In the meantime, I want to commend Wurman’s review to your attention.

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