Book Review: Regulatory Education and its Reform
30 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2013
Date Written: 1999
Regulation and Deregulation: Cases and Materials, Jeffrey L. Harrison, Thomas D. Morgan & Paul R. Verkuil. St. Paul, Minn.: West Publishing Co., 1997. Pp. 567. $48.00.
Ours is unquestionably an Age of Statutes. Yet the comprehensive study of statutes, the legal lifeblood of the regulatory state, is a relatively recent phenomenon. Law school courses in legislation have begun to bridge this gap. The substantive law underlying the most economically sophisticated statutes, however, continues to elude American law schools. What Robert Weisberg said fifteen years ago of statutory interpretation befits economic regulation today: "nothing else as important in the law receives so little attention."
Oddly enough, the law of regulated industries seems simultaneously too practical and too theoretical to attract much pedagogical attention. Some professors apparently prefer to teach economic analysis of law at the highest possible level of abstraction, while others focus on specific bodies of law such as banking, food and drug regulation, or communications. The vast middle ground has attracted relatively little classroom coverage. This state of affairs bodes ill for the legal profession and the public at large. A generation of lawyers unschooled in regulatory matters is doomed to offer little resistance against the iron triangle of self-serving industries, uninformed legislators, and captured bureaucrats.
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