AALS Conversations on the Administrative State: Experts, the Deep State, and the Challenge of Administrative Law

Date: Friday, October 29, 2021, 12:00 – 1:00 PM EST

Webinar Description:

AALS Conversations on the Administrative State is a regular series of conversations that will bring together scholars of administrative law with scholars of public administration to discuss areas of shared intellectual interest and different approaches to the study of the administrative state.

In this first conversation, Don Kettl and Emily Bremer will discuss Americans’ increasing distrust of experts. That distrust has driven a deeper wedge into the already enormous problems of political polarization in the country. These problems raise new challenges for administrative law, both in enhancing the power of experts in government and in devising strategies to hold them accountable.

Learning Objectives


Noah A. Rosenblum, J.D., Assistant Professor of LawNew York University School of Law

Noah A. Rosenblum is an Assistant Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, where he was previously the Samuel I. Golieb Fellow in Legal History.

Rosenblum works primarily in administrative law, constitutional law, and legal ethics. His research takes a historical approach to the study of state institutions and the regulation of the bar, seeking to understand how law can be used to promote democratic accountability.

His dissertation, “The Tribe of the Eagle: Presidential Democracy in Thought and Practice,” charts the growth of presidential control over administration through a new history of the legal, institutional, and intellectual development of the administrative state. His other work has explored the history of professional regulation, the history and theory of democratic institutions, and the law of public corruption, among other topics. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in the Columbia Law Review, the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, and the Yale Law Journal, among other venues, and has been awarded the Joseph Parker Prize in Legal History and the Fred C. Zacharias Award in Legal Ethics, among other honors.

Rosenblum pursued his undergraduate studies at Deep Springs and Harvard College and earned his JD from Yale Law School. Rosenblum is concurrently a PhD Candidate in intellectual and legal history at Columbia University, where his studies have been supported by a Javits Fellowship. After law school, he clerked for Judge Jenny Rivera of the New York Court of Appeals and Judge Guido Calabresi of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Rosenblum is a member of the New York Bar.

Alasdair Roberts, Ph.D., J.D., Director and ProfessorUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Policy

Alasdair Roberts is director and professor at the School of Public Policy.  He writes extensively on problems of governance, law, and public policy. His most recent book, Strategies for Governing, was published by Cornell University Press in 2020. He is the author of Can Government Do Anything Right? (Polity Books, 2018), Four Crises of American Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2017), The End of Protest: How Free-Market Capitalism Learned to Control Dissent, (Cornell University Press, 2013), America’s First Great Depression (Cornell University Press, 2012), The Logic of Discipline: Global Capitalism and the Architecture of Government (Oxford University Press, 2010), The Collapse of Fortress Bush: The Crisis of Authority in American Government (New York University Press, 2008), and Blacked Out: Government Secrecy in the Information Age, (Cambridge University Press, 2006). Blacked Out received the Brownlow Book Award from the US National Academy of Public Administration and three other academic book awards. The Logic of Capitalism received an honorable mention from the Best Book award committee of the American Society of Public Administration’s Section on Public Administration Research. Roberts has also won several awards for his journal articles.

Roberts was elected as a fellow of the US National Academy of Public Administration in 2007. From 2009 to 2017, he was co-editor of the journal Governance. He serves on the editorial boards of several other journals in the field of public administration. He has a PhD in public policy and a master’s of public policy from Harvard University and a JD from the University of Toronto.


Emily Bremer, J.D., Associate Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame The Law School 

Emily Bremer teaches and writes in the areas of administrative law, regulatory process, and civil procedure. Her scholarship focuses primarily on matters of procedural design, with a recent focus on the legal requirements and policy considerations that apply in administrative adjudication. Bremer serves as a Public Member of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), a small, free standing federal agency charged with improving government processes, procedures, and performance. She is a regular contributor to the Yale Journal on Regulation’s Notice & Comment blog.

Bremer earned her B.A. in Politics, magna cum laude, from New York University and her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was the Executive Notes Editor of the NYU Journal of Law & Liberty and a student editor for the International Journal of Constitutional Law. After law school, she clerked for Hon. Andrew J. Kleinfeld on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She also practiced law as an associate in the telecommunications and appellate litigation group of Wiley Rein LLP in Washington, DC and served as the Research Chief of ACUS (after first joining the agency as an Attorney Advisor).

Donald F. Kettl, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus and Former Dean of the University of Maryland School of Public Policy

Dr. Kettl has authored or edited numerous books, including The Divided States of America: Why Federalism Doesn’t Work (2020); Can Governments Earn Our Trust? (2017); Little Bites of Big Data for Public Policy (2017); The Politics of the Administrative Process (7th edition, 2017); Escaping Jurassic Government: Restoring America’s Lost Commitment to Competence (2016); System Under Stress: The Challenge to 21st Century American Democracy Homeland Security and American Politics (2014); The Next Government of the United States: Why Our Institutions Fail Us and How to Fix Them (2008); and The Global Public Management Revolution (2005).

He has received three lifetime achievement awards: the American Political Science Association’s John Gaus Award, the Warner W. Stockberger Achievement Award of the International Public Management Association for Human Resources, and the Donald C. Stone Award of the American Society for Public Administration.

Dr. Kettl has twice won the Louis Brownlow Book Award of the National Academy of Public Administration for The Transformation of Governance (2002); and System Under Stress: Homeland Security and American Politics (2005). His book, Escaping Jurassic Government: How to Recover America’s Lost Commitment to Competence, won the 2016 award for book of the year from the American Society for Public Administration.

Dr. Kettl has consulted for government organizations at all levels, including most recently the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He has appeared frequently in national and international media. He has chaired two gubernatorial blue-ribbon commissions for the Wisconsin state government — one on campaign finance reform and the other on government structure and finance.