Chair's Foreword

AuthorJeffrey S. Lubbers
Chair’s Foreword
Law changes. As a human creation, one constantly “adapted to the vari-
ous crises of human affairs,”1 it could not be otherwise. One could imagine a
perfect and unchanging legal regime; that is the Blackstonian model of the
common law. Justice Cardozo invoked this model when, in a well-known
decision regarding the retroactivity of law-changing judicial decisions, he
referred to “the ancient dogma that the law declared by its courts had a Pla-
tonic or ideal existence before the act of declaration.”2 Whether this concep-
tion of the common law is plausible—few would hold to it today—it’s a
complete nonstarter in the statutory and administrative realms, where law is
inescapably human handiwork. No one has ever suggested that statutes and
administrative regulations and decisions are instances of perfect and unchang-
ing Platonic forms. To stick with Plato: if indeed the world is divided into
being (“that which always is and has no becoming”) and becoming (“that
which is always becoming and never is”), law is emphatically in the latter
category. It is always becoming. Lawyers and lawmakers labor inside Plato’s
cave. Lamentable though that may be, we have no choice, and it does keep
things interesting. And because it is always changing, works such as Develop-
ments in Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice serve a vital role.
This volume is the thirteenth in the series of annual Developments volumes
published by the Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice of the
American Bar Association. As always, it is being distributed to Section mem-
bers free of charge. Four “core” chapters devoted to the basic components of
the field—rulemaking, adjudication, judicial review, and constitutional separa-
tion of powers—are compiled in the paperback volume. Additional chapters
devoted to particular substantive areas of regulatory practice are available in
electronic form for download. Each chapter has been written by one of the
Section’s committees. The collection reflects the extraordinary cumulative ex-
pertise found within the Section. I know I speak not only for the Section’s
leadership but also for all those who will use and benefit from this book in
thanking the authors for their time, effort, and generosity.
1. McCulloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. 316, 415 (1819).
2. Great Northern Ry. Co. v. Sunburst Oil & Refining Co., 287 U.S. 358, 365

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT