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Administrative Law
UMKC School of Law
Eckhardt, William G.

Administrative Agencies and Administrative Law
What is Administrative Law?

Courts expect the Agency to follow their regulations; if not, the courts won’t look at the problem

Act w/ good judgment and w/o emotion
Articulate the reasoning

Components of Administrative Law

Application of system

DP, Constitution is a floor

Review of the system

Agency act as a court?

Agencies have zero inherent power

Specific statutes à Enabling Act
Agency rules and regulations

How to appeal, where you file information

Standards of proper procedure
Judge-made law

Gilmore v. Lujan

Act specifically requires an original signature sent in; guy is denied b/c he sends in a copy
b/c the req’t was so specifically laid-out, the Ct. cannot penalize the Agency’s decision b/c they followed the rules

Administrative Agencies
Freytag v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue

Case about the head judge in tax ct à appointed by the President, but President had to listen to Congressional recommendations, etc. before making that decision
b/c the req’ts for appointing the judge were laid out, the authority isn’t too overreaching
This Judge isn’t a technical Article III Ct.; he is an Article I Ct., thus making his appointment OK

Types of Agencies

Types of Agencies

Regulatory agencies

Licensing power
Rate-making power
Power over business practices

Non-regulatory agencies

Employee benefits
Scheme of social insurance
Welfare; Veterans

Agencies and Independence
Bowsher v. Synar

This case defines the Agency position w/in the Constitutional structure
Comptroller General à recommended by President, appointed by Congress à CG can only be fired for cause à also removed by Joint Resolution

Morrison v. Olson

Limitations on Article III Courts à special prosecutors
So how do we remove the special counsel? à 3 ways:

Self-terminate by sending Attorney General a letter
Special division / court may remove them
Attorney General could for cause à problematic à gives Executive Branch some control

How do we then put a check on the Executive Branch to keep them under control?

Attorney General has to define, in writing, of the good cause she has to remove Special Counsel
Has to send it to Special Division, and to the S and H in Congress (both Senate and House)
Special Counsel can also sue to be reinstated

FTC v. American National Cellular, Inc.

P can interpret laws, enforce them, and administer them; it is a “permissible diminution” to have the President remove them

Delegation of Powers
Legislative Powers

Types of delegation


Proven to fill in details


Ascertainment of a fact
What and When

Legislature must explicitly specify

What: the power delegated
When: Conditions under which the power is to be exercised

Almost to the point now where delegation is no longer an issue b/c it has been argued about so much

Mistretta v. U.S.

Facts: Congress set up a sentencing commission to review Federal sentencing guidelines à D was charged w/ a drug offense, and claimed that Congress unconstitutionally delegated his sentence to the sentencing commission

Attorney General sits w/o any voting power also – has power based on their position to oversee the commission, but cannot officially vote (liaison of sorts)

Industrial Dept. v. American Petroleum Inst.


For it to work, must have that intelligible principle

Insure legislature is making important choices
Gives the recipient a “standard” to guide action
Ensures that courts will be able to test action against ascertainable standards

What to do:

Hone in on the statute à read the clause; might be something

Agencies allowed to hand down damages assessments à necessary ability

In re Investigation of Lauricella

The commission found L guilty, held him in contempt of court, and fined him $500. He appealed.
Agency tried to enforce something it didn’t have the power to do, over somebody it didn’t have the power to regulate over

Investigations and Information
To obtain needed information, agencies are given various ancillary powers:

Records and Reports
Craib v. Bulmash

Judicial enforcement of Administrative subpoena for records that are req’d to be kept by law à corporate records never subject to 5th Am. protection

New York v. Burger

Time, Place, Manner restrictions—

Is this a pervasively regulated industry?
Is this particular req’t connected sufficiently to the pervasively regulated industry to be valid?
If this is about a search warrant, is it clear in terms of time, place and manner?

Texas Lawyers Insurance Exchange v. Resolution Trust Corp.

Agency’s subpoena isn’t self-enforcing à must be enforced by the courts

EEOC v. Kloster Cruise Ltd.

Agencies allowed to do a fact-finding session before determining if they have jurisdiction
Right to inquisition à but must be reasonable

Freedom of Information
New York Times v. NASA

First, do threshold test of nature of information sought (protect privacy interests), then do balancing test b/w public and private interests

O’Kane v. U.S. Customs Service

P’s an ambulance-chaser à Ct. holds the privacy interests of potential clients higher than P’s interests

Sunshine Laws

Open meetings
5 days notice, agenda must be posted, gov’t must provide the information