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C. Boyden Gray, the Man Who Warned Us About the Administrative State

Although C. Boyden Gray was not well known nationally, he was a well-known name in Washington, DC. But don’t get that idea against Boyden, who died on May 21 at the age of 80.

Yes, he was a staple in Washington, D.C., but unloved on the ring road. Proven with this heartbreaking obituary Washington Post.

Boyden, as you know, was a lifelong opponent of overregulation and, therefore, of the federal government’s “business model.” The federal government, of course, has a rich bureaucracy. Bureaucracy has accumulated since the United States formally recognized the country in 1789.Not surprisingly, bureaucrats adhesion Beyond bureaucracy erosion. But as we entered the 20th century, the growth of federal government was: Arithmetic to Exponential.

As a result, an entirely new field of political science was born. 1948, University of California political scientist Dwight Waldo published Administrative States: A Study of Political Theory of American Administration, It remains the touchstone in this field. Writing 75 years ago, Waldo observed that the executive state had deep political and intellectual roots, and largely admired this phenomenon. Most notably, it stemmed from the progressive thinking of the 28th President, Woodrow Wilson, who placed great faith in the abilities of intellectuals (bureaucrats, scientists, and social scientists). That’s it. recreate the world.

Waldo says: “This faith in science and the effectiveness of the scientific method permeate our literature on public administration. “There are experts in science, so we need ‘experts in government.’” Sure, there is nothing wrong with having expertise, but the expertise we need most , common sense. After all, human nature is not science. If you think about it, “political science” is not a science. It’s always the gullible wannabes who suffer from ‘envy of science’. In other words, Waldo’s idea that the administrative state is based on scientific principles disproved. The administrative state provides fantasy Accuracy and expertise are enough. This stark reality became crystal clear by the 1970s, when President Ronald Reagan took office. Mention Until Washington DC as “Puzzle Palace on the Potomac River”.

Born in 1943 in a tradition of public service, Boyden’s father served in various senior positions in the Truman and Eisenhower administrations, rising to White House National Security Advisor from 1958 to 1961. Including, of course, the Deep State, the doppelganger that has sunk into it.

A born Tarheel, he graduated from the University of North Carolina Law School. In the 1960s, he served as the clerk of the United States Chief Justice. And by the 1970s, he was a lawyer for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (this was long before the Chamber woke up).

And in 1981, Boyden began working as an adviser to Vice President George HW Bush. I met him in the hall of the Old Executive Office Building (OEOB, later renamed Eisenhower Executive Office Building) across the driveway from the West Building. I’m not a lawyer, and I was much younger than Boyden, yet his energy and enthusiasm radiated high and low. He knew it took a team effort to get things done in DC. You have to work together and persuade, and you can even help people.

November 1988, an American attorney in the Oval Office in Washington, D.C., serving as White House Counsel to President George H.W. Bush C. Boyden Gray. (Janet Freese/Getty Images)

Any White House lawyer has to face legal thorns, but Boyden had a special mission from the start. It was to do work for the Reagan administration. Deregulation Headquarters. In 1981, when the oil price controls left by the Carter administration were lifted, the Reagan-Bush team quickly emerged victorious. As a result, production increased and prices fell. President Reagan’s economic boom was reaching its first stage.

Needless to say, in regulation-promoting cities, DeThe regulations were controversial. Still, Boyden survived stonings and arrows because he kept his nose clean and knew himself well. As a news account in 1983 put it“Knowledgeable officials say Mr. Gray was primarily responsible for lobbying agencies to deliver on the president’s promises.” This rationalization work continued throughout the 1980s.boyden succeeded poked The Food and Drug Administration has called for faster development of drugs for everything from stroke to AIDS.

When Vice President Bush took office in 1989, Boyden moved from the OEOB to the West Wing. And from that perch all his past work followed and more. The most important new challenge has undoubtedly been the president’s responsibility to elect new federal judges. Historically, such selections have been made in consultation with the American Bar Association (ABA). But even then, ABA was leaning left. This change seemed to creep up on the Bush administration. President Bush appointed David Suter to the Supreme Court in 1990 at the request of then-Chief of Staff John Sununu. Unfortunately, Mr. Suter turned out to be a left-wing liberal.

President George Bush crosses the South Lawn of the White House with White House Advisor C. Boyden Gray (left) and Chief of Staff John Sununu on October 12, 1991. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

President George Bush (right) listens to the introduction of Supreme Court nominee Justice David Suter at a White House press conference on July 23, 1990. (Dirk Halstead/Getty Images)

White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray (fourth left) listens as President George Bush introduces Supreme Court nominee Justice David Suter during a White House press conference on July 23, 1990. (Diana Walker/Getty Images)

Boyden and his legal allies, including many of the Federalist Society’s activist brains, then backed themselves out, saying they needed a better process for scrutinizing judicial candidates. Once the Republican Party was freed from the control of the ABA Primal Awakeners, the consequences were immediately apparent.

The following year, Bush 41st appointed Clarence Thomas, a stalwart rock of constitutional conservatism, ushering in a new era of judicial savvy for the Republican Party. Indeed, since then, most Republican presidents have adhered to the conservative line of appointing only carefully vetted candidates. A cry of “No more Suter!” cried out loud. As a result, five justices appointed to the Supreme Court by Republicans since Thomas — John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett — worked with Thomas to form conservative constitutionalists. to form a block. And credit behind the scenes goes to legal warriors, including Boyden, who returned to the private sector after the defeat of Bush 41 in 1992.

Clarence Thomas is inaugurated as a Supreme Court Justice by Justice Byron White at the White House on October 18, 1991. From left to right: First Lady Barbara Bush, President George Bush, and Virginia Lamp Thomas. (AP photo)

Amy Coney Barrett is sworn into the Supreme Court by Justice Clarence Thomas at a ceremony at the White House on October 26, 2020, as President Donald Trump and Jesse M. Barrett watch. . (Nicholas Kam/Getty Images)

But perhaps the subject area of ​​greatest interest to Boyden was the administrative state. The idealistic zeal that Dwight Waldo expressed in 1948 is long gone, but federal bureaucracy continues to thrive. Google’s Ngram history metrics Tells the story of the rise of the administrative state. In fact, despite obvious failures such as the Iraq War and COVID-19 mask mandates and lockdowns, the executive state still maintains the illusion of expertise. And who in the administration would have thought that funding gain-of-function research on the Chinese virus would be a good idea? in fact, not yet do you think that is a good idea?

To keep up the good fight against statistician arrogance, Boyden Blessed C. Boyden Gray Center for National Studies in Public Administration, Antonin Scalia School of Law, George Mason University; It may be an overstatement, but its purpose can be summed up succinctly. Develop legal and intellectual strength to resist the administrative state.

C. Boyden Gray speaking at a panel discussion hosted by the Gray Center at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia School of Law on May 25, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Gray Center/Facebook)

Tragically, the year of Boyden’s death, 2023, marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of Waldo’s book on the Administrative State.

Does that mean the fight is hopeless? Will the administrative state last forever? In fact, Boyden-minded lawyers have won four major Supreme Court victories against federal overreach in the past two years alone. Center for Disease Controlagainst Occupational health and safety managementand two Against of Environmental Protection Agency. We can read these lawsuits to see how much worse things could have been if the good people hadn’t won.

the truth is none I’m hopeless. No lost cause, won cause. The fate of all relationships is decided by those who stand up and do something.

Boyden Gray stood up and made lasting change.

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