The executive branch of George Washington’s presidency was but a pale image of what we have today. The 91 members of the first Congress outnumbered the executive branch officials empowered to implement congressional acts and presidential orders. Since Congress chartered the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1887, however, the number, reach, and power of executive officials have grown exponentially, creating our contemporary Leviathan administrative state.
A major criticism of the administrative state is that it consists of unelected officials with the power to govern virtually every aspect of modern life without serious oversight by the federal courts. That issue might arise during the upcoming Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the current opening on the U.S. Supreme Court.
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This piece originally appeared in the Federalist