Magazine October 19, 2020, Issue

Overregulation & Administrative Law Amount to Government by the Unelected

Members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs in Washington, D.C., September 24, 2020 (Toni L. Sandys/Reuters Pool)
The Unelected: How an Unaccountable Elite Is Governing America, by James R. Copland (Encounter, 256 pp., $28.99)

We live in a democracy, but are we governed by one? The Manhattan Institute’s Jim Copland argues persuasively, in The Unelected, that quite a lot of our governance comes from people we didn’t vote for, and whom we cannot vote out to hold them accountable for misrule. His tour of the unelected ranges further than a lot of Americans might think.

Unelected government in America is a familiar problem, starting with activist judges who hand down rulings unmoored from anything written in the law. But most of Copland’s targets are elsewhere. Many of his worst culprits are not those who seize

This article appears as “Getting the Government You Didn’t Vote For” in the October 19, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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