Magazine March 8, 2021, Issue

Learning to Love the Administrative State

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Law and Leviathan: Redeeming the Administrative State, by Cass R. Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule (Belknap Press, 208 pp., $25.95)

Harvard Law professors Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule have set them­selves a daunting task for a slender volume: convince readers to stop worrying and learn to love the administrative state. “Our main project,” the authors tell us, “has been to put contemporary administrative law in its best light.” Unfortunately, Law and Leviathan fails to make the sale, in good part because it can never quite decide what it is selling.

The book’s narrative coherence is not helped by having two authors with such divergent worldviews and styles. Sunstein, typically a conversational writer to the point of glibness, is a moderate-liberal utilitarian

This article appears as “Loving Leviathan” in the March 8, 2021, print edition of National Review.

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