Course Description


Kovacs, Oberdiek, Oren, Scales

This course is not a formal prerequisite to any other course. It is useful, however, as a pre- or corequisite to courses concerned with the formulation or implementation of a complex body of law by one or more administrative agencies.

An introduction to the law controlling how administrative agencies work. Such agencies have become extremely important; much law is made by agencies using rule-making authority, or is implemented by agencies acting in a judicial capacity. The advent of administrative agencies raises difficult constitutional and institutional issues. How can we ensure that agencies are responsible to the elected branches and, through them, to the people? To what extent is the creation of administrative agencies a proper response by legislatures to tough public policy issues? How can individuals be protected from arbitrary treatment by agencies? When is an individual entitled to a hearing before harmful administrative agency action? How should administrative agency procedures be structured to take advantage of agency expertise without shutting out interested parties? How can agency bureaucracies be prevented from assuming an overly powerful role in decision making? To what extent should the president be able to control administrative agency action? How stringently ought the courts review administrative agency action? Who ought to be able to challenge administrative agency action in the courts, and when? All of these issues are addressed.