Introduction to Administrative Law

Introduction to Administrative Law

This module in the Administrative Law course gives an overview of the study of Administrative Law.

Congress delegates power to various entities, administrative agencies, in order to achieve various policy goals. Administrative law designates the use of the power that Congress has delegated; it is the law concerning the rules the government must follow before it gives you something, takes something from you, or tells you what to do.  

“An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among the several bodies of magistracy so that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.”

― Madison, Federalist No. 58

Agencies implement national policy through their adjudication, rulemaking, and enforcement functions with some statutory and constitutional constraints.  

Agencies have some relationship to the three constitutional actors named in the Constitution—Congress, the President, and the courts—but the nature and scope of that relationship is the series of ongoing debate.

This series explores.

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5 of 6: A Brief History of Administrative Law [No. 86]

Professor Gary Lawson outlines the last hundred years of administrative law and how it has changed over time. The birth of administrative law happened during the Progressive era, a time when there was a new demand for specialized expertise. Agencies ... Professor Gary Lawson outlines the last hundred years of administrative law and how it has changed over time. The birth of administrative law happened during the Progressive era, a time when there was a new demand for specialized expertise. Agencies and regulations grew exponentially in the New Deal era when Congress and the courts relinquished most oversight powers. In the 1960s, administrative regulations extended to even broader areas of society, such as environmental regulations, but the legislature and the courts reasserted some control over the agencies.

Professor Gary Lawson is the Philip S. Beck Professor at Boston University School of Law.

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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