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Making Legal HistoryEssays in Honor of William E. Nelson$
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Daniel J. Hulsebosch and R. B. Bernstein

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814725269

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814725269.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 23 October 2019

An Unexpected Antagonist

An Unexpected Antagonist

Courts, Deregulation, and Conservative Judicial Ideology, 1980–94

Chapter:
(p.264) 10 An Unexpected Antagonist
Source:
Making Legal History
Author(s):

Reuel Schiller

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814725269.003.0011

This chapter argues that the Reagan administration's policy of “executive deregulation” largely failed because the federal courts rejected the administration's attempts to do this—even during Reagan's second term, when his appointees had come to dominate the federal judiciary. Judicial rejection of executive deregulation illustrates some of the contradictions in late-twentieth-century conservative ideology. Reagan-era conservatives were committed to anti-statist beliefs, out of which deregulation naturally flowed, but many also were committed to controlling “judicial activism.” The means deployed by these conservatives included textualism and a commitment to originalism in both constitutional and statutory interpretation. These approaches undermined executive deregulation. In this instance, conservative judicial method trumped conservative executive policy.

Keywords:   Reagan administration, executive deregulation, conservatives, judicial activism, textualism, originalism

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