Administrative Law Obituaries are Not for Sissies

From Antonin Scalia’s “Judicial Deference to Administrative Interpretations of Law“, easily the best ever introduction to an essay on administrative law:

When I was invited to speak here at Duke Law School, I had originally intended to give a talk that refiected upon the relationship among the Bork confirmation hearings, the proposed federal salary increase, capital punishment, Roe v. Wade, and Law and Astrology. I was advised, however, that the subject of this lecture series is administrative law, and so have had to limit myself accordingly. Administrative law is not for sissies — so you should lean back, clutch the sides of your chairs, and steel yourselves for a pretty dull lecture. There will be a quiz afterwards.

Of course, the lecture was anything but dull and the 11-page article deserves to be re-read. I will certainly miss Justice Scalia’s sharp wit and excellent understanding of administrative law, where his preference for rules over standards animated some of his most important opinions: the sparkling dissents in Mead and Brand X, as well as his compelling majority opinion in City of Arlington. As Noah Feldman put it: ” We shall not see his like again”.

For anyone in Montreal on Wednesday, my colleague Matt Harrington and I will be discussing Scalia’s life and legacy, as well as the impact of his death on the presidential election campaign, at 11.30 in the Salon François-Chevrette at the Faculty of Law, University of Montreal (3101 chemin de la Tour, pavillon Maximilen-Caron). Entry will be free to all, there will be continuing professional development credits for practitioners, and the event will be archived subsequently. Register here.

UPDATE 1: I spoke to Michel C. Auger of Radio Canada this afternoon. You can listen to the clip (in French) here.

UPDATE 2: Fixed the broken link to the 1989 Duke LJ article.

This content has been updated on February 15, 2016 at 19:51.