Select Page

Administrative Law
UMKC School of Law
Eckhardt, William G.

[Administrative Law] –          Administrative Agencies & Administrative Law
o        What is Administrative Law
§         Gilmore v. Lujan
·         Facts – Gilmore filed an oil & gas application with the BLM. He sent on August 26, two copies of an offer of lease for oil and gas. The BLM required that all copies of the lease form must be properly executed and filed in the office within 30 days from the receipt of the decision. Gilmore received the decision on the August 29, and had to send a response by September 28. Gilmore did thus and sent them by certified mail on the 21st. Gilmore’s secretary called the BLM who said they had not received it. Thus, Gilmore sent a fax of the document to the BLM. The BLM rejected the copy on the grounds that they required an original.
·         Holding & Rationale – What would seem a minor detail to the uninitiated, there is an abundance of administrative decisions involving the requirement of a holographic signature on lease applications. The BLM regulation gave fair notice to all applicants that failure to comply would result in denial of their applications. The faxed application submitted by appellant was not holographic, and it was created by a machine, both of which violate the regulation. Gilmore turned all but the last millimeter, but that millimeter whose traverse is jealously guarded by the BLM was his undoing.
o        Administrative Agencies
§         § 551
§         Freytag v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue
·         Facts –The tax reform act of 1969 established under Article I of the Constitution, the US Tax Court. The title commissioner was changed to special trial judge. Congress authorized the Chief Judge of the Tax Court to appoint and assign these special judges to hear certain specifically described proceedings and any other proceeding which the chief judge may designate. The tax court consists of judges appointed to 15 year terms by the president, by and with the advice and consent of the senate. Petitioners had made certain deductions on their tax forms and the Tax Court was assigned their case. The chief judge assigned a special trial judge to preside over the trial who found the petitioners liable because the tax court judge was ill
·         Holding & Rationale – Petitioners argue that if (b)(4) permits a special trial judge to preside over the trial of any Tax Court case, then the statute violates the appointments clause of the Constitution. A special trial judge is an inferior officer whose appointment must conform to the appointments clause. Further Art II explains that congress may by law vest the appointments of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the courts of law. Here congress clearly vested the Chief Judge of the Tax Court with such authority to appoint special trial judges. The clause only grants limited authority to devolve appointment power on the courts of law. The text of the clause does not limit the courts of law to those courts established under Article III of the Constitution. The Clause does not provide that Congress can vest appointment power only in one Supreme Court and other courts established under Article III. The tax court exercises judicial power to the exclusion of all other power.  Tax Court is an Article I court.
o        Types of Agencies
o        Agencies & Independence
§         Bowsher v. Synar
·         Facts – The president signed into law the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act, which was designed to eliminate the federal budget deficit. The act sets a maximum deficit amount for federal spending for each of fiscal years 1986 to 1991. If the federal budget deficit exceeds the maximum deficit amount by spending to reach the targeted deficit level. Ea. Year the directors of the OMB and the CBO independently estimate the amount of the federal budget deficit for each of the upcoming fiscal year. If it exceeds the maximum targeted deficit amount the directors then independently calculate, on a program-by-program bases, the budget reductions necessary to ensure that the deficit does not exceed the maximum levels. The comptroller general then reviews the reports and reports to the president. The president in turn must issue a sequestration order mandating the spending reductions specified by the comptroller general. District ct held the role of the comptroller general to be unconstitutional as it violated the separation of powers.
·         Holding & Rationale – The constitution does not contemplate an active role for congress in the supervision of officers charged with the execution of the laws it enacts. Once the appointment has been made and confirmed, however, the Constitution explicitly provides for removal of Officers of the US by Congress only upon impeachment by the House and conviction by the Senate. A direct congressional role in the removal of officers charged with the execution of laws beyond this limited one is inconsistent with separation of powers. We conclude that Congress cannot reserve for itself the power of removal of an officer charged with the execution of the law except via impeachment. The structure of the Constitution does not permit Congress to execute the laws; it follows that Congress cannot grant to an officer under its control what it does not posses. The critical factor is that the statute permits removal by joint resolution of congress at anytime if the comptroller is permanently disabled, inefficient, neglects his duty, malfeasance, or a felony or conduct of moral turpitude. Further the comptrollers function is to execute the law. Once Congress has passed a law its participation ends; Congress can thereafter control the execution of the law only by enacting new law.
§         Morrison v. Olson
·         Facts – Title VI allows for the appointment of an independent counsel to investigate and if appropriate, prosecute certain high ranking government officials for violations of federal criminal laws. The AG upon receipt of information that he determines is sufficient to constitute ground to investigate is to conduct a preliminary investigation. When the investigation is complete or 90 days has passed, he is required to report to a special court created by the Act for the purpose of appointing independent counsels. If the AG has determined that there are reasonable grounds to believe that further investigation or prosecution is warranted, then he shall apply to the division of the court for the appointment of an independent counsel. The act grants the counsel full power and independent authority to exercise all investigative and prosecutorial function and powers of the DOJ, AG, and any other officer or employee of the DOJ. § 596(a)(1) provides that the counsel may be removed other than impeachment by showing good cause. If removed pursuant to this statute then the AG is required to submit a report to both the Special Division and the Judiciary Committees specifying the reasons therefor. §596(b)(1) provides that the office is terminated when he notifies the AG that he has completed or substantially completed investigations. The special division, acting on its own, or at the suggestion of the AG, may terminate the office of an independent counsel at any time if it finds that the investigation of all matters within the prosecutorial jurisdiction of such independent counsel have been completed so as to allow others to investigate. Respondent claimed that independent counsel provisions of the Act were unconstitutional. Court found the act invalid because the counsel was not nominated by the president and confirmed by the senate as the appointment clause requires for principal officers and that the removal power violates the separation of powers doctrine.
·         Holding & Rationale – The Constitution divides all its officers in two classes: inferior and principal officers. If the special counsel here is a principal officer the statute violates the clause. The Appellant is an inferior officer. Appellant is subject to removal via a higher official in the executive branch, can only perform limited acts, appellant’s office is limited in jurisdiction, and the offic

. But what EPA lacks is any determinate criteria for drawing lines. It has failed to state intelligibly how much is too much. They argue that a less stringent standard would allow the relevant pollutant to inflict a greater quantum of harm on public health, and that a more stringent standard would result in less harm.
·         Whitman v. American Trucking Ass’n.
o        Facts – The court of appeals held the CAA did not provide an intelligible principle to guide the EPA’s exercise of authority in setting NAAQS.
o        Holding & Rationale – In a delegation challenge the constitutional question is whether the statute has delegated legislative power to the Agency. We have repeatedly said that when congress confers decision making authority upon agencies Congress must lay down by legislative act an intelligible principle to which the person or body authorized to act is directed to conform. Requisite means sufficient, but not more than necessary. The scope of discretion here is well within the outer limits of our nondelegation precedents.
§         Individual Rights & Liberties
§         State Delegation
·         State v. Broom
o        Facts – Broom was charged with a felony violation of the Louisiana Explosives Code in that he did operate a conveyance transporting explosives and did leave such vehicle unattended at a time other than when actually making deliveries. Trial court quashed the information.
o        Holding & Rationale – The statutes provide that the director of public safety is to set minimum standards for the manufacture, transportation, use, sale, handling and storage of explosives. The regulations are to be those reasonably necessary to protect the public’s health, welfare and safety, and are to conform with the rules and standards of the Institute of Makers of Explosives. However, the Louisiana Constitution contains a provision which states that except as otherwise provided herein, no one of these branches, nor any person holding office in one of them, shall exercise power belonging to either of the others.
–          Judicial Power
o        The United States Constitution & Judicial Power
§         Thomas v. Union Carbide Agricultural Products
·         Facts – Appellees are thirteen large firms engaged in the development and marketing of chemicals used to manufacture pesticides. Each has in the past submitted data to EPA in support of registrations of various pesticides. They challenged the provision of FIFRA which required binding arbitration on compensation to be paid for EPA use of data submitted for pesticide registration. Appellees argued that the provision transgressed on the judicial power of courts under Art. III.
Holding & Rationale – This court has not read the Constitution as requiring every federal question arising under the federal law to be tried in an Art. III court. Instead the court has long recognized that congress is not barred from acting pursuant to its powers under Art. I to vest decision making authority in tribunals that lack the attributes of Art. III courts. Many matters that involve the application of legal standards to facts and affect private interests are routinely decided by agency action with little or no review by Art. III courts. The public rights