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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

The Shallow State: The Federal Communications Commission And The New Deal, Daniel R. Ernst May 2019

The Shallow State: The Federal Communications Commission And The New Deal, Daniel R. Ernst

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

American lawyers and law professors commonly turn to the New Deal for insights into the law and politics of today’s administrative state. Usually, they have looked to agencies created in the 1930s that became the foundation of the postwar political order. Some have celebrated these agencies; others have deplored them as the core of an elitist, antidemocratic Deep State. This article takes a different tack by studying the Federal Communications Commission, an agency created before the New Deal. For most of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first two presidential terms, the FCC languished within the “Shallow State,” bossed about by ...


Of Sheepdogs And Ventriloquists: Government Lawyers In Two New Deal Agencies, Daniel R. Ernst Jan 2015

Of Sheepdogs And Ventriloquists: Government Lawyers In Two New Deal Agencies, Daniel R. Ernst

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

From the neo-Weberian literature on state-building and the political sociology of the legal profession, one might expect government lawyers to be sheepdogs, nipping at the heels of straying administrators, supplying their agencies with the bureaucratic autonomy so often missing in American government. In this working paper, prepared for “Opportunities for Law's Intellectual History," a conference sponsored by Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy at the State University of New York at Buffalo, October 10-11, 2014, I report my preliminary findings for two agencies created during the Hundred Days of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration ...


Meaning, Purpose, And Cause In The Law Of Deception, Gregory Klass Jan 2012

Meaning, Purpose, And Cause In The Law Of Deception, Gregory Klass

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Laws designed to affect the flow of information take many forms: rules against misrepresentation, disclosure requirements, secrecy requirements, rules governing the formatting or packaging of information, and interpretive rules designed to give people new reasons to share information. Together these and similar rules constitute the law of deception: laws that aim to prevent or cure deception. One encounters similar problems of design, function and justification throughout the law of deception. Yet very little has been written about the category as a whole. This article begins to sketch a general theory. It identifies three regulatory approaches. Interpretive laws, such as common ...


The Politics Of Administrative Law: New York's Anti-Bureaucracy Clause And The O'Brian-Wagner Campaign Of 1938, Daniel R. Ernst Jan 2009

The Politics Of Administrative Law: New York's Anti-Bureaucracy Clause And The O'Brian-Wagner Campaign Of 1938, Daniel R. Ernst

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The controversy over administrative law in New York in 1938 was a decisive moment in the emergence of procedural Diceyism in the United States. On a stage crowded with partisan and legal performers, the politics of administrative law played out in two acts. In the first, the state's trial lawyers mounted a campaign to heighten judicial review of the state's administrative agencies. Their efforts culminated in the adoption of the anti-bureaucracy clause at the state constitutional convention when regular factions in the state's two major parties decided it would serve their purposes. New Yorkers rejected the measure ...


Willard Hurst And The Administrative State: From Williams To Wisconsin, Daniel R. Ernst Jan 2000

Willard Hurst And The Administrative State: From Williams To Wisconsin, Daniel R. Ernst

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article follows Willard Hurst from his undergraduate days at Williams College through the start of his teaching career at Wisconsin in the fall of 1937. During these years Hurst acquired an abiding interest in the rise of the administrative state as well as some of the insights he would use to account for it in his mature work. For the most part, the article proceeds chronologically through four episodes in Hurst's training: (1) his year-long study of Charles and Mary Beard's "Rise of American Civilization" undertaken as an undergraduate at Williams College; (2) his three years as ...