Blake Emerson is Assistant Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law. Prior to joining UCLA Law, he was a Research Fellow at the Administrative Conference of the United States in Washington, D.C. His primary research interests lie in administrative law, executive power, and legal theory.
Emerson’s research examines the normative and historical foundations of American public law. He draws on resources from political theory and American political development to understand the structure and purpose of the regulatory state. He studies questions such as: What role have federal government agencies played in interpreting and implementing civil rights and other fundamental public values? How can legal doctrine ensure that agencies address such significant policy issues in a reasoned and inclusive fashion? In what ways have the diverse institutions of the American state realized, or failed to live up to, democratic principles? How can state action promote, rather than undermine, individual freedom?
Emerson’s book, The Public’s Law: Origins and Architecture of Progressive Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2019), offers a history and theory of democracy in the American administrative state. His articles have appeared or are forthcoming in the Yale Journal on Regulation, Yale Law Journal, Minnesota Law Review, and Review of Politics, among other publications. He has co-authored two reports on federal agency best practices for the Administrative Conference of the United States, and written shorter contributions for the Notice and Comment Blog, Regulatory Review, and Law and Political Economy Blog.
Emerson received his B.A. magna cum laude with Highest Honors from Williams College, his Ph.D. with Honors from Yale University, and his J.D. with Honors from Yale Law School. In 2017, he received an American Constitution Society prize for regulatory and administrative law scholarship.