Featuring the author Philip Hamburger, Maurice and Hilda Friedman Professor of Law, Columbia University School of Law; with comments by Hon. Stephen F. Williams, Senior Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; moderated by Roger Pilon, Director, Center for Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute.
When law in America can be made by executive “pen and phone” alone
— indeed, by a White House press release — we’re faced
starkly with a fundamental constitutional question: Is
administrative law unlawful? Answering in the affirmative in this
far-reaching, erudite new treatise, Philip Hamburger traces
resistance to rule by administrative edict from the Middle Ages to
the present. Far from a novel response to modern society and its
complexities, executive prerogative has deep roots. It was beaten
back by English constitutional ideas in the 17th century and even
more decisively by American constitutions in the 18th century, but
it reemerged during the Progressive Era and has grown ever since,
regardless of the party in power. Please join us for a discussion
of the most pressing constitutional issue before the nation today.