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Administrative Law
University of Kansas School of Law
Glicksman, Robert L.

Administrative Law

What is admin law?
– law that governs how agencies operate (procedure)
– law that agencies make (substantive)
– class focuses on procedural aspect but still need to be familiar with substance of agency
– deals with mostly public law disputes

private v. public law disputes
– private law = suit brought by private parties against other private parties in fed/state ct
– public law = involves legality of:
1. govt regulation of the conduct of private citizens under legis stds designed to promote public interest OR
2. decision by a govt agency concerning eligibility for some govt benefit like SS or Medicare benefits

1 – Fund for Animals v. Rice—
– govt agencies = EPA, FWS, Army Corp of Engineers
1. ACE = clean water act gives them authority to rule on permit applications for companies who want to discharge materials into US waters
2. FWS = permit would jeopardize wildlife (panther and snake)…have to ask whether permit would have adverse effect
3. EPA = co-responsible for giving permits and issues stds to guide ACE whether or not to give permit and has veto power over it
– Other side = Fund for Animals (NGO/enviro public interest group…disagreed with agencies trying to get/give permit
– Sarasota county intervenes
– Fund says clean water act, NEPA (requires every fed agency to analyze adverse consequences first with enviro impact statement), and endangered species act violated
– P substantively = govt agencies violated acts
– P procedurally = agencies didn’t follow NEPA guidelines
– Ct = rejected all P arguments
– Many cases involve multiple parties

Admin Agencies
– §551 defines agency = each authority of the US govt, whether or not it’s w/in or subject to review by another agency, not including congress, prez, etc.
– created by legis to execute statutes, so clearly legis is principle of agency w/o which it wouldn’t exist
– but many agencies in exec branch are sort of answerable to prez
– 2 principles conflict = legis/congress v. exec/prez
– depends on what kind of agency involved:
1. executive =
a. est as department (agriculture) or within a department (forest service)
b. headed by single person
c. removable by prez
2. independent = FEC, SEC, FDIC
a. free standing (not w/in any dept)
b. headed by board or commission w/ multiple party members
c. serve for fixed (and staggered) terms and can be removed for cause
– agencies execute laws that provide them w/ authority to make decisions
– most either regulate private conduct or administer entitlement programs (medicare, etc.)
– some don’t fall into either category = park ranger
– need them [to regulate private conduct] b/c =
1. economic
2. non-economic
– need them [to regulate private conduct] b/c =
1. economic
a. society ought to strive for efficient allocation of resources that maximizes its value
b. measure value of resources by willingness of

Set minimum price levels or subsidize suppliers

Unequal bargaining power

Low wages, poor working conditions

NLRB (National Labor Relations Bureau)

Establish rules that require fair labor practices and safe working conditions

Spillover costs/externalities

Pollution, unsafe conditions

Safety and health


Require regulated entities to eliminate or take responsibility for external effects

Public goods



Police, education, social welfare

Impose taxes or equivalent