In this fascinating article from 2014, Dr. Hamburger associates administrative law primarily with the executive power of a nation state; meaning the king or the president, for example. But while the history is informative, it doesn’t do enough to illuminate our current reality.
Since creating the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1887, Congress went on to produce a vast empire of huge bureaucracies, each of them specializing in one or another application of administrative law. Today we worry over who really controls this empire, Congress or the Executive.
Recent debate over the assassination of Qasem Soleimani is a case in point. There are those on one side who claim that Congress rightfully controls the Department of Defense. There are those on the other who claim the Executive rightfully controls it. The disagreement would be funny, were there not at the heart of it a real power struggle.
Dr. Hamburger is right. Administrative law is a monster. Once let loose, it devours everything, including Constitutional governance.