Federal Administrative Law – A Brief Overview

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on July 22, 2013

Federal Administrative Law – A Brief OverviewBy Richard J. McKinney, Assistant Law Librarian, Federal Reserve Board, May 2010 Presentation to LLSDC Librarians, Last revised May 21, 2013

“Federal administrative law primarily concerns the powers and procedures of Federal administering agencies in relation to the public (but usually not in criminal matters). It is Congress that grants general and specific powers to various Federal agencies through enabling legislation as well the general laws for their fair and orderly administration. These executive powers are often quasi-legislative in nature Federal administrative law primarily concerns the powers and procedures of Federal administering agencies in relation to the public (but usually not in criminal matters). It is Congress that grants general and specific powers to various Federal agencies through enabling legislation as well the general laws for their fair and orderly administration. These executive powers are often quasi-legislative in nature (via rules and regulations applicable to a class of persons or organizations) or quasi-judicial in nature (via orders, adjudications and decisions involving particular persons or organizations). The given powers are also subject to judicial review and interpretation. As industry and technology grew over the past 125 years Congress deemed it appropriate to delegate the details of administering laws to protect the public or enhance fairness to executive departments or independent regulatory agencies. Unlike the heads of executive departments and agencies the heads of independent regulatory agencies generally do not serve at the pleasure of the President or have their rules and legislative recommendations reviewed by OMB (44 USC 3502(5) – http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/44/35/I/3502 and OMB Cir. A-19). The first independent regulatory agency was the Interstate Commerce Commission established in 1887. (via rules and regulations applicable to a class of persons or organizations) or quasi-judicial in nature (via orders, adjudications and decisions involving particular persons or organizations). The given powers are also subject to judicial review and interpretation. As industry and technology grew over the past 125 years Congress deemed it appropriate to delegate the details of administering laws to protect the public or enhance fairness to executive departments or independent regulatory agencies. Unlike the heads of executive departments and agencies the heads of independent regulatory agencies generally do not serve at the pleasure of the President or have their rules and legislative recommendations reviewed by OMB (44 USC 3502(5) – http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/44/35/I/3502 and OMB Cir. A-19). The first independent regulatory agency was the Interstate Commerce Commission established in 1887.”

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