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The Morality of Administrative Law

40 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2017 Last revised: 19 Oct 2017

Cass R. Sunstein

Harvard Law School; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Adrian Vermeule

Harvard Law School

Date Written: October 10, 2017

Abstract

As it has been developed over a period of many decades, administrative law has acquired its own morality, closely related to what Lon Fuller described as the internal morality of law. Reflected in a wide array of seemingly disparate doctrines, but not yet recognized as such, the morality of administrative law includes a set of identifiable principles, often said to reflect the central ingredients of the rule of law. An understanding of the morality of administrative law puts contemporary criticisms of the administrative state in their most plausible light. At the same time, the resulting doctrines do not deserve an unambiguous celebration, because many of them have an ambiguous legal source; because from the welfarist point of view, it is not clear if they are always good ideas; and because it is not clear that judges should enforce them.

Suggested Citation

Sunstein, Cass R. and Vermeule, Adrian, The Morality of Administrative Law (October 10, 2017). Harvard Law Review, 2018, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3050722

Cass Sunstein (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts Ave
Areeda Hall 225
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-2291 (Phone)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Adrian Vermeule

Harvard Law School ( email )

1525 Massachusetts
Griswold 500
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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