Tocqueville's Nightmare: The Administrative State Emerges in America, 1900-1940 by Daniel R. ErnstTocqueville's Nightmare: The Administrative State Emerges in America, 1900-1940 by Daniel R. Ernst

Tocqueville's Nightmare: The Administrative State Emerges in America, 1900-1940

byDaniel R. Ernst

Paperback | May 15, 2016

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Alexis de Tocqueville once warned that "insufferable despotism" would prevail if America ever acquired a national administrative state. Today's Tea Partiers evidently believe that Tocqueville's nightmare came true during the New Deal when radicals created vast bureaucracies that continue totrample on individual freedom. In Tocqueville's Nightmare, Daniel R. Ernst destroys this ahistorical and simplistic narrative. He shows that reformers wanted to purge government of corruption rather than create a socialist utopia. Indeed, they built the principles of individual rights, limitedgovernment, and due process into the administrative state. Far from following "un-American" models, they rejected the leading European scheme for constraining government, the Rechtsstaat (a state of rules). They instead equated the rule of law with the rule of courts and counted on judges to review the bases for administrators' decisions. But when leadingjudges realized that strict judicial review shifted to them decisions best left to experts, even they decided that a "day in court" was unnecessary if individuals had already had a "day in commission" where the fundamentals of due process prevailed. This procedural notion of the rule of law solvedthe judges' puzzle of reconciling bureaucracy and freedom. The American administrative state is a restrained and elegant solution to a thorny problem and has kept Tocqueville's nightmare at bay.
Daniel R. Ernst has been a member of the faculty of the Georgetown University Law Center since 1988. His first book, Lawyers against Labor, won the Littleton-Griswold Award of the American Historical Association. He has been a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow, a Fulbright Research Scholar at the National Library of New ...
Title:Tocqueville's Nightmare: The Administrative State Emerges in America, 1900-1940Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:May 15, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190465875

ISBN - 13:9780190465872

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Tocqueville's NightmareFreund and FrankfurterHughesChief Justice HughesNew York, 1938Pound and FrankConclusion: Good AdministrationAcknowledgmentsAbbreviations for Sources Consulted

Editorial Reviews

"No future analysis of the development of American administrative government will credibly proceed without having taken stock of Ernst's well-crafted study." --Perspectives on Politics