SMNR: Federalism & Administrative State

Class Unique: 29245
In this seminar we will examine the federalism issues that arise in administrative law. Even with the rise and expansion of the federal administrative state, it remains clear that the Constitution in principle requires some division of governmental authority between the national and state governments. Our central questions will be: What are the implications of constitutional federalism requirements for the operation of federal administrative agencies? Does consideration of federalism requirements call into question the constitutional permissibility of the administrative state in general? And, since the administrative state is by now an entrenched feature of our legal system, what do we do with our ideas about federalism if they cannot be reconciled with the current state of things? We will examine doctrines of constitutional and administrative law that represent compromises and accommodations on behalf of federalism; as well as legislative and administrative strategies for incorporating different models of federalism into government practice. Our goal will be to assess the constitutional justifiability of these doctrines and strategies and to evaluate their potential for maintaining a constitutionally proper division of authority between the two levels of government. Throughout our exploration of these questions, we will pay close attention to the way in which academic federalism theory has evolved to come to grips with the administrative state. Readings will consist largely of secondary academic sources, supplemented with selected historical, judicial and legislative materials.

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Thursday 10:30 am - 12:20 pm TNH 3.114
Evaluation Method Date Time Alpha Range Room

Additional Information

Course Type


Pursley, Garrick B Pursley, Garrick B