Might the administrative state have expired quietly, six months ago? Arguably it did, if what we mean by the administrative state is the array of regulatory agencies, not only executing the law, but also creating binding new law without legislative consent. Bear with me.
Brian Mannix is a research professor in the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University. From 2005 to 2009 he served as the Environmental Protection Agency's Associate Administrator for Policy, Economics, and Innovation; earlier he served as Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Mannix was managing editor of Regulation magazine at the American Enterprise Institute.
I worked with him briefly as one of the editors of Regulation in the late 1980s. His knowledge of regulation, as the above bio suggests, is both wide and deep.
The piece is well worth reading. And the ending is great:
The May 30 cutoff date for rules in CRA jeopardy is only an estimate, based on the House and Senate calendars for the current lame-duck session. If Congress decides to adjourn earlier, that date could move up. The Labor Department's controversial overtime rule was published May 23, for example, and will soon acquire CRA immunity if the lame duck session continues. Which raises the question, what business are the House and Senate conducting that keeps them in town? Surely not to confirm President Obama's nomination to the Supreme Court. If the 114th Congress is inclined to empower their successors, they might decide the best course is simply to wrap up early and adjourn. Thanksgiving is nigh, and we thank you for your service. Go! Fly away home!
For the reasoning that leads to this bottom line, read the whole thing, which is not long.