Administrative Law Pragmatism

12 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2011

See all articles by Ronald M. Levin

Ronald M. Levin

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law

Date Written: August 1, 2011


This is a slightly edited version of a speech that was written for a lay audience. It explains in simple terms the theme of “administrative law pragmatism” that runs through much of the author’s past scholarship. That concept can be defined as a belief in trying to accomplish social ends effectively through the use of the administrative process, although it also presupposes the availability of traditional checks on administrative power. The speech discusses FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. as a concrete illustration of a situation in which the Court might have relied on this concept but did not do so. The speech makes a case for administrative law pragmatism but acknowledges that its premises are, and will remain, contested.

Suggested Citation

Levin, Ronald M., Administrative Law Pragmatism (August 1, 2011). Washington University Journal of Law and Policy, Forthcoming; Washington University in St. Louis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-08-04. Available at SSRN:

Ronald M. Levin (Contact Author)

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law ( email )

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St. Louis, MO 63130
United States
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