Select Page

Administrative Law
Quinnipiac University School of Law
Abbott, Melanie Beth

Administrative Law Outline 2011
Melanie Abbott Class
Chapter 1
I.                    Introduction
Nature and Function
What do Administrative Agencies do?
A)    Administrative Agencies fact find, consult experts, make recommendations.
B)     Licensingà determines who can get what permit
C)     Determine what standards should be.
D)    Assess individuals and corporations on what they are doing.
How did Administrative Agencies come into being?
i.                    Federal Lawà Enabling Legislation
ii.                  Congress passed legislation that makes them do something
iii.                Additional statute telling them specifically what to do.
iv.                Case Lawà common law tells them what they can and cannot do.
Sources of Law
Administrative Law derives from the Constitution in that the administrative state is created by:
1.  Those entities created by the Constitution (i.e., Congress)
2. The Administrative Procedural Act (APA), which prescribes the procedures that must be followed by the agencies
3.  The organic statute of the particular agency that created the agency
4. The Common law principles that guided administrative agencies prior to the
Why we have Agencies
Expertise- Certain government body will have expertise
Efficiency- a effective group of people committed to one thing is better than Congress doing something or Article III courts doing something.
Political  Cover and Political Control- politicians don’t need to handle the blame. Can push blame on Agency.
Structural Limitations on Agencies and Relations between Government Actors
The existence of federal agencies seems to be in tension with the separation-of-powers scheme in two ways. First, many agencies seem to combine legislative, executive, and judicial powers.
Agency may have:
1)      Quasi legislative power to adopt regulations that control people’s everyday conduct.
The executive power to enforce those regulations and other laws that the agency is responsible for administering; and
2)      The quasi judicial power to apply those regulations and laws to individual cases.
Precedent on Congress’s power to delegate quasi legislative and quasi-judicial powers to administrative agencies is called the Non-Delegation Doctrine.
The Non-Delegation Doctrine describes the constitutional limits that apply when Congress invests an agency with power.
A.  Non-Delegation Doctrine
The doctrine holds that, under Article I of the Constitution, Congress cannot delegate its powers to anyone else. The Doctrine stems from the concept of Separation of Powers, which means that each branch of the government is confined to exercising those powers within its sphere.
“All legislative powers shall be vested in a Congress of the United States”
“Congress shall have the power to make all laws that are necessary and proper.”
Reasoning: There are issues that Congress isn’t expert in and it wants to give those with the knowledge and time and experience some power to make decisions regarding legislation.
Congress set forth conditions that some legislation shall take effect and the “delegated” authority would then act upon it.
Filling in the Gap: Congress sets forth the law and how that is carried out, the details are left to the delegated party.
Intelligible principle: As long as some guidance is given; the non-delegation doctrine would not be violated. Congress gives the guiding principle to act upon. As long as there is an intelligible principle to guide doctrine then it is ok.
Intelligible Principle Doctrine (test) comes from the J.W. Hampton case. Congress must lay down by legislation an intelligible principle to which the person or body authorized to exercise the authority is directed to conform, such is not a forbidden delegation of power.
Issue with the intelligible principle is whether the statute granting the power is too broad.
Case Law:
Brig Aurora (1813): The case involved a statute that authorized the President to lift a statutory trade embargo against France and England when the president determined that those countries had stopped violating the “neutral commerce of the U.S.”One of the parties in Aurora argued that the statute improperly delegated “legislative” power to the President by allowing him to decide when the statute imposing the embargo would be suspended. Ultimately, Court rejected the argument.
Field V. Clark (1892): Court explained that Congress can enact legislation the effect of which depends on the President’s determination that a “named contingency” exists.
-Congress can’t delegate power to the President—this is vital for the system of the U.S. Government. Act in this case was upheld as okay because President was making a factual determination. Here, Congress said President could suspend favorable tariff treatment.
Both Brig Aurora and Field v. Clark upheld executive action that had a legislative affect. These early cases allowed delegation on the grounds that Congress had made the legislative decision and the executive was just filling in the detail. This was in their discretion and in their inherent power/ experience.
 J.W. Hampton Jr. & Co. v. United States (1928): Case concerned a federal statute that authorized the President to increase statutorily prescribed duties on certain foreign goods. The statute allowed him to increase the duties on certain types of goods when he determined than an increase was necessary to equalize the costs of production between the United States and the foreign country that produced the goods.
Restatement of Intelligible Principle Test: “If Congress shall lay down by legislative act an intelligible principle to which the person or body authorized [to exercise delegated authority] is directed to conform, such legislative action is not a forbidden delegation of legislative power.”
This “intelligible principle” test seemed to allow executive agencies and officials to take actions that had legislative effect and that were based on their own policy judgments, so long as Congress gave them overreaching policy within which to act.
Cases in which Intelligible Principle was not found to exist (stringent):
Panama Refining Co. v. Ryan (1935): The Court invalidated a provision in the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) that authorized the President to ban interstate shipments of oil produced in the violation of state law. The Court found no intelligible principle for the President to follow in determining when to ban an interstate shipment of “hot oil.”
(“As to the transportation of oil production in excess of state permission, the Congress has declared no policy, has established no standard, and has laid down no rule. There is no requirement, no definition of circumstances and conditions in which the transportation is to be allowed or prohibited.”)
Schechter Poultry Corp. United States (1935): Also known as the “Sick Chicken” case. The Court struck down a provision of the NIRA (National Industrial Recovery Act) that authorized the President to approve “codes of fair competition” for the poultry industry. The Court was particularly concerned that the Act did not prescribe adequate administrative procedures for the approval of codes. Essentially, this was unconstitutional because statement of congressional policy was insufficient for President’s exercise of wide authority.
Carter v. Carter Coal (1936), the Court struck down a statute that, in effect, delegated regulatory authority to members of the coal industry. The Court said that delegation “to private persons whose interests may be and often are adverse to the interests of others in the same business” is “legislative delegation it its most obnoxious form.” Basically, Supreme Court saw this as a delegation issue because unlimited discretion should not be given to private parties—they can be working in their own self interest.
Cases in which Intelligible Principle was found to exist (lenient):
Yakus v. United States (1944): Court upheld a wartime statute that authorized a federal price administrator to set “generally fair and equitable prices.” A non-delegation problem occurs when there  is an absence of standards for the guidance of the Administrator’s action, so that it would be impossible in a proper proceeding to ascertain whether the will of Congress has been obeyed; constitutionality depends on whether the stator definition sufficiently marks the field within which the Administrator is to act. Basically, the facts established that WW2 soldiers were returning and this encouraged the increase of prices. Because it is

ttorney General, who, in turn, subdelegated it to INS. Federal statute contained legislative veto provision. AG had to report to Congress all cases in which INS suspended deportation. Each House of Congress could disapprove the suspension. If either house passed such a resolution the INS’s decision to suspend deportation was invalidated, and the person had to leave the United States.
– Chadha challenged the deportation as unconstitutional. Supreme Court agreed holding that provision violated the Bicameralism Clause and the Presentment Clause.
1) Bicameralism= both houses must pass even if you are trying to speed it up and not take up resources…it is unconstitutional
2) Presentment clause= must go before President or unconstitutional
***Decision of Chadha invalidated the legislative vetoes in more than 200 existing statutes. This meant that Congress lost an important form of control).
Concurrence: Legislative veto was not the problem per se. What we have is a separation of powers problem here because congressional determination of whether someone qualifies for permanent residency is a judicial determination.
Dissent: legislative veto is important, get’s job done. Etc.
Line Item Veto
Congress enacted the Line Item Veto Act in 1994. Act authorized the President, after signing an appropriation bill into law, to “cancel” certain, discrete spending provisions in the law. Court struck this down in the Clinton case.
– Line Item Vetoà  Congress have been fighting for many years. Allowing President to cut particular line items in projects. Concern is that you have individual appropriations and there is no way President can allow them from taking place without vetoing the whole bill.
– Line Item Vetoes not consistent with Constitution. For the President to carve out particular provisions and sign the rest of the bill, he’s changing the statute. Basically he’s legislating. The bill that he signed minus vetoed provisions is a new bill then what Congress passed. This is not the President’s job. Concerned with Presentment problem…also not an appropriate use of the President’s power. Vetoing these particular provisions is similar to agreeing to not using all the provisions given.
 Scaliaà not reasonable to believe that President is doing anything outside bounds of authority.
Clinton v. City of New York: cancelled a provision of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, terminating Medicaid repayment claim by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services against New York state. Clinton also cancelled a provision of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 97 that provided a limited tax benefit to farmers. Court saysà President had amended two acts of Congress by repeal of portions and that there is no provision in the Constitution that authorized him to enact, amend, or to repeal statutes. What Clinton is doing is cancelling provisions after the bill becomes a law. This is not one of his powers.
Dissent- It is a non-delegation issue. The President is guided by the act.
Legislative Oversight: Congress supervises budgets, forces administrative agencies to come to hearings and discuss what it is doing, has control over structure of Administrative Agency, and legislative oversight committees. Appropriations:
1)      Appropriate a large/small amount
2)      Specificity or generality of the budgetary categories
3)      “riders”- specific statutory constraints on Administrative Agency power beyond the enabling act.