Administrative state

Drones Against The Drones

Featured image Oh happy day! The DC Circuit Court of Appeals recently voided an FAA rule that impinged directly on Power Line’s Air Force—namely, my small drone fleet. The FAA required registration of drones starting several months back. Yet a recent statute governing the FAA, the “FAA Modernization and Reform Act” of 2012, explicitly states that the FAA “may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft.” But this being »

Life of Pai

Featured image President Trump named Ajit Pai chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. By my lights it ranks as one of Trump’s great appointments. Having served as a commissioner during the Obama administration, Pai had a front row seat to see the FCC’s assertion of control over the Internet under the guise of “net neutrality.” As a conservative Republican of libertarian stripe, Pai forcefully opposed the FCC takeover. See Tim Heffernan’s 2015 »

Is Sec. Acosta committed to regulatory rollback at the Labor Department?

Featured image In a piece called “Why the Acosta nomination is very bad news for conservatives,” I wrote this about Alex Acosta, the then-nominee (since confirmed) for the job of Secretary of Labor: The Department of Labor plays a key role in areas of major interest to conservatives, especially immigration, wage and hour law, and civil rights. The left had its way, and then some, under Tom Perez, President Obama’s Labor Secretary. »

Eric Posner goes full Slow Joe

Featured image The Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court begins on Monday. Last week Steve Hayward predicted that some idiot would take up the mantle of Slow Joe Biden. “Instead of holding up Richard Epstein’s book Takings,” Steve wrote, “as Joe Biden did with Clarence Thomas in an effort to make Thomas repudiate his philosophy, I wouldn’t be surprised if the banned »

A Pro-Environment Judge Is a Bad Judge

Featured image Today’s Associated Press article on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch illustrates the fact that when it comes to judicial matters, most reporters have no idea what they are talking about. The headline is: “Gorsuch’s environment record: Neither a clear friend nor foe.” I should hope not! The role of a judge is not to be a “friend” or “foe” of the environment. It is to apply the facts of the »

A Bradley for Philip Hamburger

Featured image I am pleased to note the announcement yesterday that Professor Philip Hamburger is one of four recipients of the 2017 Bradley Prize. The Bradley Prize will be awarded to Professor Hamburger at a ceremony to be held on April 6, 2017 at the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Sidney Harman Hall in Washington, D.C. The award carries a stipend of $250,000. I wrote Professor Hamburger to congratulate him. I thought readers might »

Judge Gorsuch and the Chevron Two-Step

Featured image Confirmation hearings for Neil Gorsuch will begin in about 10 days, and in addition to the usual leftist animus toward anyone who might be faithful to constitutional originalism, there is likely to be some vigorous questioning about Gorsuch’s attitude toward the “Chevron doctrine,” which is now one of the pillars of the administrative state. Instead of holding up Richard Epstein’s book Takings, as Joe Biden did with Clarence Thomas in »

How the Administrative State Threatens Our Liberty: VIP Live, With Howard Root

Featured image The administrative state is the #1 threat to our freedom, a fact which no one knows better than our friend Howard Root. Howard was the founder and CEO of Vascular Solutions, Inc., a successful medical products company that was set up as a victim by Barack Obama’s hyper-politicized Department of Justice. For five years, Obama’s DOJ persecuted and harassed Howard and his company with bogus claims. Thankfully, Howard Root had »

How the Administrative State Threatens Our Liberty: VIP Live, With Howard Root

Featured image The administrative state is the #1 threat to our freedom, a fact which no one knows better than our friend Howard Root. Howard was the founder and CEO of Vascular Solutions, Inc., a successful medical products company that was set up as a victim by Barack Obama’s hyper-politicized Department of Justice. For five years, Obama’s DOJ persecuted and harassed Howard and his company with bogus claims. Thankfully, Howard Root had »

Understanding the administrative state

Featured image For the 20-plus years my friend Bruce Sanborn served as chairman of the Claremont Institute, we attended the annual meeting of the America Political Science Association over Labor Day weekend. At the APSA convention we attended the panels sponsored by the Claremont Institute. It was our idea of a good time. In those panels we heard a lot about “the administrative state,” frequently from Professor John Marini. Professor Marini had »

“The administrative state,” what’s that?

Featured image Last week, in a speech to CPAC, Steve Bannon declared that the Trump administration is battling for the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” CNN’s coverage of the speech appeared under the following headline: “Steve Bannon outlines his plan to ‘deconstruct’ Washington.” The Washington Post’s headline (in the paper edition) was similar. It mentioned “deconstruction” but not that which is to be deconstructed — the administrative state. In its story, CNN »

CRB: The threat to liberty

Featured image You may have heard that our own Steven Hayward has a new book that is available now on Amazon. I read the book in galley and think it is the best book I have read since Philip Hamburger’s Is Administrative Law Unlawful? of 2014. Steve is a gifted teacher and a born storyteller, qualities that are prominently on display in his new book. The themes of Steve’s book culminate in »

Liberals bemoan the demise of last-minute Obama regs

Featured image It was never a secret that, once inaugurated, Donald Trump would immediately begin undoing regulations that took effect in the last months of the Obama administration. We knew that, for such regulations, Trump would ask Congress to use the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to bypass filibusters in the Senate to overturn recently issued regs. President Trump and Congress have undertaken this process. The Washington Post is not amused. »

Review this

Featured image Kim Strassel delivers today’s good news in her Wall Street Journal column “A GOP regulatory game changer” (accessible here via Google). She introduces the Pacific Legal Foundation’s Todd Gaziano to explain the mechanics of the rarely used (and almost always unsuccessful) Congressional Review Act of 1996 to undo executive agency regulations. (The text of the Congressional Review Act is accessible here.) As a staffer to Rep. David McIntosh at the »

A look at Judge Neil Gorsuch

Featured image Judge Neil Gorsuch of the Tenth Circuit is now said in some reports to be the frontrunner for nomination to the Supreme Court. That makes me feel old. In the early 1980s when I practiced environmental law, his mother, the late Anne Gorsuch, was the controversial head of the EPA. Anne Gorsuch was my senior by only seven years. Neil Gorsuch looks like a fine candidate for the Supreme Court. »

What Trump Is Up Against

Featured image A lot of people are thinking—and hoping—that Trump will be the third term of Ronald Reagan. Certainly his cabinet is to the right of Reagan’s first cabinet in many ways, and we have the experience of the Reagan years to appreciate better the massive opposition of what people are starting to call the “deep state,” a more accurate term perhaps for the menacing character of the administrative state. I stumbled »

Federal Judge Denounces EPA As Rogue Agency

Featured image In 2014, Murray Energy Corporation and several of its affiliates sued EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, alleging that the EPA was in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 7621, § 321(a) of the Clean Air Act, which requires the agency to “conduct continuing evaluations of potential loss or shifts of employment which may result from the administration or enforcement of the provision of [the Clean Air Act] and applicable implementation plans, including »