The administrative state has been with us since the founding. But much of modern government can be traced to the 1930s, when in response to the Great Depression Franklin Roosevelt created a host of new agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Social Security Administration. These agencies exercise a great deal of discretion, and they affect the lives of millions of Americans every day. (They also have international influence.) They were born in a period of enthusiasm for technical expertise: Roosevelt and his New Dealers believed in the rule of law, but they did not believe in the rule of courts; they wanted to give authority to specialists.