The U.S. Constitution requires laws be made by elected representatives. Today, most policies are made by administrative agencies whose officials are not elected. Not coincidentally, many Americans increasingly question whether the political system works for the good of the people. In this trenchant intellectual history, Postell demonstrates how modern administrative law has attempted to restore the principles of American constitutionalism, but it has failed to be as effective as earlier approaches to regulation.Here’s an endorsement:
“Federal bureaucracy often seems to roam far beyond what Congress has clearly authorized and often does so without meaningful check from courts. Postell’s book demonstrates that Americans have worried about over-reaching officials since colonial times. Bureaucracy in America shows what we can learn from past efforts to secure the people’s rights, even from government officials.”—Jeremy A. Rabkin, George Mason University, author of Law without Nations?