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How does "who the President is" affect administrative agencies? Executive branch agencies (such as the Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, Department of Energy, and many others) fall under the direct control of the President. The President chooses agency heads, who in turn work with the career staff in their agencies to implement policies in line with the President's policy goals. The agencies, like the President, exercise executive power in the creation and promulgation of national policies. In effect, the President delegates power to agencies, and the agencies' connection to the President gives them some degree of democratic accountability. How does the Office of Internal and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) oversee these agencies for the Executive branch? Does OIRA serve both the President and the public? What agencies are not reviewable by OIRA and why?
Administrative agencies have been a part of the executive branch since the earliest days of the Constitution. Professor Ilan Wurman explains that the agencies have grown both in numbers and in power. They often pass rules and regulations that operate
Administrative agencies have been a part of the executive branch since the earliest days of the Constitution. Professor Ilan Wurman explains that the agencies have grown both in numbers and in power. They often pass rules and regulations that operate like laws and then enforce them in a way independent of the President. Does this mean that the agencies are unconstitutionally exercising power that belongs to the President alone?
Ilan Wurman is an associate professor at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, where he teaches administrative law and constitutional law. He is the author of A Debt Against the Living: An Introduction to Originalism (Cambridge 2017).
As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.
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