by John Marini
December 04, 2013
While it is true that both the executive and the legislative branches have contributed to the expansion of the administrative state, it is equally true, and worth repeating, that there has been no consensus or political realignment that has succeeded in legitimating the administrative state as a replacement for the Constitution. As a result, that unlimited state still rests uneasily within a constitutional structure of limited government whose political branches were intended to act on behalf of constitutional purposes. Why then has it proven so difficult to reverse the growth of the administrative state? The political transformation of Congress that occurred in the decade following 1965 was the decisive event in this regard. It is by reorganizing itself to be not a legislative, but an administrative oversight body that Congress established itself as a major player in the politics of the administrative state.