Constitution 101

The Administrative State Today


Sometimes referred to as the fourth branch of government, the bureaucracies which constitute the administrative state exercise legislative, executive, and judicial powers—a practice which Publius describes in Federalist 47 as “the very definition of tyranny.”

Since its inception, the administrative state has undergone many changes and reforms, which have had profound effects on the way American national policy is made and implemented by Congress and the president.

Originally a barrier to the implementation of the Progressive agenda, the judiciary today largely defers to the bureaucracy.

These developments have produced a system which continues to erode America’s constitutional foundations.


Audio-Only Version

Download Audio


Discussion Questions

  1. What are some of the major developments that have led to the administrative state we know today?
  2. Why did Franklin Roosevelt insist on creating the Executive Office of the President?
  3. How have Congress and the definition of legislation changed over the last century?

Q & A Session

Audio-Only Version

Download Audio

About the Professor

Kevin Portteus is associate professor of politics at Hillsdale College, where he has taught since 2008.

Dr. Portteus is faculty advisor for the Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program, and teaches courses in American political thought and American political institutions.

A visiting graduate faculty member in the American History and Government program at Ashland University, Dr. Portteus formerly taught at Belmont Abbey College and Mountain View College, in Dallas.

Having published online through the Washington Times, Human Events, and, his book, Executive Details: Public Administration and American Constitutionalism, is under review for publication.

He received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Ashland University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in politics from the University of Dallas.

Available on the Hillsdale College Site


Discussion Board


navigation aids
to go to the site menu, return to the top then click the 3 bars to the far right

Do know that Hillsdale College has elected NOT to receive government grants nor assistance and is totally reliant upon tuitions, alumni, public donations as well as several other means — you can read more about this on their support page.

Please Consider a Donation for Them Today!


Please Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s