Neoclassical Administrative Law

Harvard Law Review, Vol. 133, 2019, Forthcoming

Notre Dame Legal Studies Paper No. 1923

54 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2019

Date Written: March 1, 2019


This article introduces an approach to administrative law that reconciles a more formalist, classical understanding of law and its supremacy with the contemporary administrative state. Courts adopting this approach, which I call “neoclassical administrative law,” are skeptical of judicial deference on questions of law, inclined to give more leeway to agencies on questions of policy, and attend more closely to statutes governing administrative procedure than contemporary doctrine. This theory is “classical” in its defense of the autonomy of law and legal reasoning, separation of powers, and the supremacy of law. These commitments distinguish it from theorists who would have courts make a substantial retreat in administrative law. It is “new” in that, unlike other more classical critics of contemporary administrative law, it seeks to integrate those more formal commitments with the administrative state we have today—and will have for the foreseeable future.

Keywords: administrative law, judicial review, legal theory

JEL Classification: K00, K20, K40

Suggested Citation

Pojanowski, Jeffrey A., Neoclassical Administrative Law (March 1, 2019). Harvard Law Review, Vol. 133, 2019, Forthcoming; Notre Dame Legal Studies Paper No. 1923. Available at SSRN:

Jeffrey A. Pojanowski (Contact Author)

Notre Dame Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 780
Notre Dame, IN 46556-0780
United States

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