The Trump Administration’s Deconstruction of the Administrative Rule of Law

A consistent theme of President Trump’s efforts to deconstruct the administrative state has been to characterize the bureaucracy in anti-democratic terms, denying and eroding the concept of administrative rule of law. Rather than an integral part of a complex system of checks and balances in which bureaucratic expertise and decision making assist in holding elected officials accountable through principled and consistent rulemaking, the Trumpian view of the administrative state is a counter-majoritarian one, in which entrenched and unelected bureaucrats have usurped congressional and executive authority. This paper synthesizes our forthcoming book, The Trump Administration’s Deconstruction of the Administrative State (Peter Lang Publishers, The American Presidency in the 21st Century Series) with a closer look at the Administration’s assault on the administrative rule of law through judicial appointments and recent challenges to judicial deference to administrative expertise.