March 15, 2012
In a recent book review for The New Republic, Harvard Law School Professor Adrian Vermeule ’93 examines Richard A. Epstein’s “Design for Liberty: Private Property, Public Administration, and the Rule of Law” (Harvard University Press, 2011).
Epstein’s book, Vermeule writes, “targets the administrative state as the enemy of classical liberalism, and argues that the administrative state is inconsistent with the rule of law”—an argument that, he ultimately concludes, “falls flat.”
According to Vermeule: “Epstein never really comes to grips with the standard rejoinders [to the rule-of-law critique of the administrative state] … The result is a book that will please the faithful, but not persuade the doubtful, or break any new ground.”
Vermeule's latest book is "The System of the Constitution" (Oxford University Press, November 2011) in which he explores how individuals and larger institutions together shape the constitutional order. (See related story). He is also the author, with Eric A. Posner ’91, of “The Executive Unbound: After the Madisonian Republic” (Oxford University Press, February 2011). A scholar of administrative law and constitutional law and theory, Vermeule has taught at Harvard Law since 2005, and was appointed John H. Watson, Jr. professor of law in 2008.
Read the full review (PDF)