Justification, Legitimacy, and Administrative Governance

Issues in Legal Scholarship, Vol. 3, 2005

U of Penn Law School, Public Law Working Paper No. 06-06

Posted: 17 May 2005


Richard Stewart, in his classic article The Reformation of American Administrative Law, argues that the demise of the transmission belt model of administrative governance has created a crisis of agency legitimacy, and he skeptically surveys a range of possible solutions to the legitimacy crisis. I claim that Stewart's skepticism is misguided. It may be true that no feasible administrative structure is democratically legitimate; but it is also true, given the logic of moral justification, that in every choice situation confronted by agency decisionmakers, or by those who design agencies, there is at least one morally permissible and justified choice (perhaps a choice that sacrifices democratic legitimacy for the sake of other values).

Suggested Citation

Adler, Matthew D., Justification, Legitimacy, and Administrative Governance. Issues in Legal Scholarship, Vol. 3, 2005; U of Penn Law School, Public Law Working Paper No. 06-06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=723122

Matthew D. Adler (Contact Author)

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

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