Liberty's Nemesis: The Unchecked Expansion of the State
By: John Yoo (editor), Dean Reuter (editor)Hardback
If there has been a unifying theme of Barack Obama's presidency, it is the inexorable growth of the administrative state. Its expansion has followed a pattern: First, expand federal powers beyond their constitutional limits. Second, delegate those powers to agencies and away from elected politicians in Congress. Third, insulate civil servants from politics and accountability. Since its introduction in American life by Woodrow Wilson in the 20th Century, the administrative state's has steadily undermined democratic self-government, reduced the sphere of individual liberty, and burdened the free market and economic growth. In Liberty's Nemesis, Dean Reuter and John Yoo collect the brightest political minds in the country to expose this explosive, unchecked growth of power in government agencies ranging from health care to climate change, financial markets to immigration, and more. Many Americans have rightly shared the Founders' fear of excessive lawmaking, but Liberty's Nemesis is the first book to explain why the concentration of power in administrative agencies in particular is the greatest -- and most overlooked -- threat to our liberties today.
If we fail to curb it, our constitutional republic might easily devolve into something akin to the statist governments of Europe. President Obama's ongoing efforts to encourage just such a devolution, and the problems his administration faces as a consequence, present a critical opportunity to defend the original vision of the Constitution.
Dean Reuter is a senior staff member of the Federalist Society, the premier conservative and libertarian legal group in the country. John Yoo is the Emanuel Heller Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and a former Bush Justice Department official. Together, they edited Confronting Terror: 9/11 and the Future of American National Security, a 2011 anthology analyzing the legal and policy issues still in play on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
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