- United States administrative law
United States administrative law encompasses a number of
statutes and cases which define the extent of the powers and responsibilities held by administrative agencies of the United States Government. The executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the U.S. federal government cannot always directly perform their constitutional responsibilities. Specialized powers are therefore delegated to an agency, board, or commission. These administrative governmental bodies oversee and monitor activities in complex areas, such as commercial aviation, medical device manufacturing, and securities markets.
Justice Breyer defines administrative law in four parts. Namely, the legal rules and principles that: (1) define the authority and structure of administrative agencies; (2) specify the procedural formalities employed by agencies; (3) determine the validity of agency decisions; and (4) define the role of reviewing courts and other governmental entities in relation to administrative agencies. [ Breyer, Stephen, et al., "Administrative Law & Regulatory Policy", Fifth Edition, at p. 3 (Aspen Pub. 2001)]
U.S. federal agencies have the power to adjudicate, legislate, and enforce laws within their specific areas of delegated power. Agencies "legislate" through
rulemaking- the power to promulgate (or issue) regulations administrative law is codified as the Code of Federal Regulations.
cope of administrative authority
The authority of administrative agencies stems from their organic statute, and must be consistent with constitutional constraints and
legislative intent. Generally speaking, therefore, agencies do not have the power to enact a regulation where:
# The regulation is an unconstitutional delegation of power;
# The organic statute explicitly denies authority (but note that failure to grant authority in later legislative efforts is not dispositive);
# Congress has enacted a separate regulatory scheme;
# The regulation is not based on factual findings;
# The regulation is not pursuant to serving the "public convenience, interest, or necessity"; or
# The regulation is outside the agency's statutory purpose as articulated in its organic statute.
Adjudicative versus rule-making acts
Agency acts are divided into two broad categories:
rulemakingand adjudication. The scope of these two categories is defined in three ways:
Factors tending to make an act adjudicative in nature:
*Involving a small number of people
*Individuals involved are specially affected by the act
*Decision based on the facts of an individual case, rather than policy concerns
Cases in which an act was ruled to be adjudicative:
Londoner v. City and County of Denver", involving a tax levied on residents of a particular street without affording them the opportunity to have their objections heard in person.Cases in which an act was ruled to be rulemaking:
Bi-Metallic Investment Co. v. State Board of Equalization", involving a tax levied on the entire city of Denver.
Administrative Procedure Act
According to section 551 of the
Administrative Procedure Act,
Rulemakingis "an agency process for formulating, amending, or repealing a rule."
rulein turn is "the whole or a part of an agency statement of general or particular applicability and future effect designed to implement, interpret, or prescribe law or policy;"
Adjudicationis "an agency process for the formulation of an order;"
** An order in turn is "the whole or part of a final disposition ... of an agency in a matter other than rule making but including licensing;"
Right to a hearing
There are two ways that an individual can attain the right to a hearing in an adjudicative proceeding. First, the
Due Processclause of the 5th Amendment or 14th Amendment can require that a hearing be held if the interest that is being adjudicated is sufficiently important or if, without a hearing, there is a strong chance that the petitioner will be erroneously denied that interest. [" Mathews v. Eldridge"] A hearing can also be required if a statute somehow mandates the agency to hold formal hearings when adjudicating certain issues.
cope and extent of rulemaking power
Federal administrative agencies have the power to
promulgaterules that have the effect of substantive law. The power to do so stems from the agency's organic statute, and extends to all regulations necessary to carry out the purposes of the Act, rather than being limited to powers expressly granted by the statute. The power extends to substantive rules as well as procedural rules. [" National Petroleum Refiners Assn. v. FTC", 482 F.2d 672 (D.C. Cir. 1983), "cert. denied", 415 U.S. 951 (1974).] By contrast, many states, such as Kentucky, have been less willing to allow their agencies to promulgate rules with the effect of substantive law.
Agencies may not promulgate
retroactive rules unless expressly granted such power by the organic statute. " Bowen v. Georgetown University Hospital", ussc|488|204|1988
The choice of whether to
promulgaterules or proceed with ad hocadjudicative decisions rests in the informed discretion of agencies. " SEC v. Chenery Corp.", ussc|332|194|1947 (Dissenting opinion arguing that the decision permitted agencies to rule arbitrarily, without law). Agencies may also announce new policies in the course of such adjudications.
Agencies are permitted to rely on rules in reaching their decisions rather than adjudicate, where the promulgation of the rules is within the agency's statutory authority, and the rules themselves are not arbitrary or capricious.
Heckler v. Campbell, ussc|461|458|1983.
Agencies must abide by their own rules and regulations. "
Accardi v. Shaughnessy", ussc|347|260|1954.
Type of rulemaking
There are three types of
Formal rulemaking, which is rulemaking for which the organic statuterequires that rules be "made on the record after agency opportunity for hearing," and for which the APA prescribes particular procedures; the phrase is required for formal rulemaking; simply requiring that rules be made "after a hearing" does not trigger the requirements of formal rulemaking;
Informal rulemaking, which is rulemaking for which no procedural requirements are prescribed in the organic statute, and for which the APA requires notice and comment;
Hybrid rulemaking, which is rulemaking for which particular procedural requirements beyond notice and comment, but not rising to the level of formal rulemaking.
tate-level administrative law
States may have their own administrative law; for example, a
state constitutionmay allow the legislature to delegate rulemakingauthority to an executive or independent agency, and state governments may provide an administrative appealprocess for people who are dissatisfied with decisions made by certain state agencies.
California has an extensive body of administrative law including a [http://www.oah.dgs.ca.gov/default.htm hearing agency] that requires its administrative law judges to be lawyers. California statutory law governing the hearing agency states that [http://www.oah.dgs.ca.gov/DDS+Mediation+and+Hearings/FairHearings.htm non-lawyers] may appear before it. However, California case law holds that [http://www.cppf.us/CPR/Articles/2006/02MApr06/0206BolBenn.html former attorneys] who no longer practice law may [http://www.lacba.org/showpage.cfm?pageid=7513 not appear] before it. Most California agencies adjudicate license cases utilizing the [http://ag.ca.gov/careers/descriptions/civillaw.php California Attorney General's legal staff] . However, others (including the [http://www.corp.ca.gov/ENF/list/default.asp Department of Corporations] and [http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0500-about-us/0500-organization/0200-fraud/index.cfm Insurance] ) utilize their own legal staff.
Journals & Publications
Administrative Law Review" is the official quarterly publication of the American Bar Association's Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, published in coordination with American University Washington College of Law.
*The Texas Tech Administrative Law Journal specializes in administrative law topics.
* William Funk, J.D., Administrative Procedure and Practice: Problems and Cases, ISBN 0314155171, Thomson West, 3rd ed., 2006.
* William Funk, J.D., Administrative Law: Examples and Explanations, ISBN 0735558914, Aspen Publishers, 2nd ed., 2006.
List of significant administrative law cases
Administrative law judge
Article I and Article III tribunals
*American Bar Association [http://www.abanet.org/adminlaw/home.html Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice]
* [http://www.law.cornell.edu/topics/administrative.html LII Law about... Administrative Law]
*Legal Definitions on [http://legal-definitions.info/administrative-law-and-procedure Administrative Law and Procedure]
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