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Administrative Law
University of Kentucky School of Law
Kightlinger, Mark F.

Administrative Law
Fall 2017
Overview of the Work of Administrative Agencies
The following cases introduce the principal public-policy contexts in which a need has been recognized for specialized agency to undertake government action
Over time, the Court has become increasingly willing to infer agency power, not require express power
Rationale for Agency Action
ICC v. Cincinnati, New Orleans, and TX Pacific Railway Co. (1897)
Court looks to see what powers the ICC has under the Interstate Commerce Act to fix railroad rates
ICC argues that the power to pass on the reasonableness of existing rates implied a right to prescribe rates and that Congress intended for ICC to determine what were just/reasonable rates for the future
Congress has not conferred upon the ICC the legislative power of prescribing rates, since it was not expressly granted
Congress’s three options in regulating RR rates:
Regulate rates themselves
Pass it onto a subordinate tribunal (like the ICC)
Leave it to companies to regulate, subject to regulations and restrictions (judicial oversight system)
In absence of legislative intent to the contrary, we assume judicial oversight is the rule
Pennsylvania v. West Virginia (1923)
Majority invalidated WV statute that restricted the ability of pipeline companies to sell natural gas produced in the state to consumers out of state
In his influential dissent, Justice Brandeis argued the Court should decline to decide the case
Brandeis sees the Court as institutionally incompetent to delve into the regulation of natural gas
Believes the questions of delving into market, how much production in each state, is demand evolving and the fact that these factors are always changing leaves him to believe the court does not have the expertise to answer the question
Basically believes that these kind of difficult regulatory questions should be decided by agencies with proper expertise, not the courts
National Broadcasting Co. v. US (1943)
Court reviewed the legality of the Chain Broadcasting Regulations that had been adopted by the FCC
The national networks challenged the regulations as beyond the power of the FCC
FCC has the power to promulgate the regulations to correct abuses disclosed by its investigations of chain broadcasting
Congress gave FCC broad grant of authority
Statute governing exercise of FCC’s licensing power is “public interest, convenience, or necessity”, which means FCC can regulate the technical aspects of radio communications and some of the composition of radio traffic
Public interest is served if FCC can regulate in a way to make radio's presence larger and more effective
US v. Southwestern Cable Co. (1968)
Companies claimed that the FCC lacked statutory authority to regulate CATV systems
There was nothing explicitly in Communications Act of 1934 which granted FCC authority to regulate CATV
The FCC can regulate CATV because it goes with the FCC’s purpose and Congress never prohibited it
Congress has granted FCC expansive amount of power to regulate all forms of electrical communication
sThis is opposite of Cincinnati: here the Court is willing to infer power to regulate from the fact Congress never wrote anything to prevent it and the statute was broad
FDA v. Brown and Williamson Corp. (2000)
After previously disavowing the authority to do so,

portunity to be heard in connection with the tax increase, meaning his property is being taken w/o DP of law
The valuation may be allowed without a hearing
Where a rule of conduct applies to more than a few people, it’s impractical for everyone to have a direct voice in its adoption
The concept of DP does not apply to general lawmaking (the procedural safeguard is the political process)
Due Process
 Constitutional Right to a Hearing
The DP Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments state that no person may be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law
Cases arising under procedural due process require consideration of two questions:
Is there a protected liberty or property interest deprivation of which will trigger due process clause?
If so, how much process is due?
General Rules
An administrative adjudication that deprives someone of liberty or property must provide due process
The concept of DP simply doesn’t apply to general lawmaking because the procedural safeguard is the political process (Bi-Metallic)
But, if you are singled out, and can produce adjudicatory facts that will affect outcome, you have a constitutional right to a hearing
Adjudicative fact = concerns the parties to a proceeding
Legislative fact = general or broad facts which do not relate directly to the parties to the litigation