US SENATOR MIKE LEE SPEECH -The Time for Regulatory Reform in Congress I always appreciate the opportunity to talk about federalism, the separation of powers, and the administrative state. But it is a special honor to do so as a guest of the Antonin Scalia Law School.
BigNews.Biz - Mar 14,2017 - The Time for Regulatory Reform in Congress
Thank you for that kind introduction, Neomi. Thank you to the Center for the Study of the Administrative State for putting this event together. And thanks to all of you for being here.
I always appreciate the opportunity to talk about federalism, the separation of powers, and the administrative state. But it is a special honor to do so as a guest of the Antonin Scalia Law School. What a fantastic name for an institution.
And it’s fitting that an institution bearing the name of the great Antonin Scalia would host this discussion.
Throughout his legal career, Justice Scalia was an avid student of the regulatory state. He even left a lucrative career at a law firm to teach administrative law for a few years at the University of Virginia. But he understood that not everyone shared his passion for the topic.
In 1989, Justice Scalia delivered a lecture at Duke Law School in which he began by warning his audience, “Administrative law is not for sissies – so you should lean back, clutch the sides of your chairs, and steel yourselves for a pretty dull lecture.
Now, I don’t think Justice Scalia was actually capable of delivering a dull lecture, no matter how dry or tedious the subject matter. But there’s no doubt that even most lawyers and law students consider administrative law to be among the least riveting areas of the law.
I think this is partly because the bureaucracy tends to be seen as one of the least interesting areas of government – far removed from the action, drama, and excitement of politics.
Members of Congress work in the awe-inspiring and iconic Capitol Building. The president lives and works in the White House, the world’s most famous symbol of power and prestige.
Executive-branch bureaucrats work in… the HHS headquarters, and the Labor Department – nondescript, Soviet-style concrete slabs that look more like nuclear vaults than government buildings.
But of course, the bureaucracy’s reputation for irrelevance has never been deserved – especially not today.
Just look at how the administrative state is revolting against the results of last year’s election.
Set aside for a moment your opinions of General Michael Flynn and the allegations about his relationship with Russia. It should profoundly worry everyone how Flynn was run out of Washington.
Let’s not mince words here: current and former national security officials used the spying power of the surveillance state to silence a political enemy who threatened their status quo.
This is the type of behavior we would expect in a banana republic, not a healthy democracy.
And our domestic agencies are proving to be just as eager to use their immense power to try to overturn the results of last year’s election. After President Trump nominated Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, the union representing the EPA’s 15,000 employees organized a campaign to pressure the Senate to reject him.
One of those 15,000 employees told The New York