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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6 of 6: When do Regulations Have the Force of Law? [No. 86]

Does it matter if a rule passed by an administrative agency isn’t technically a law? Professor Gary Lawson explains that valid rules can preempt state laws and penalize violators with significant fines. Even in a court ruling, most administrative r ... Does it matter if a rule passed by an administrative agency isn’t technically a law? Professor Gary Lawson explains that valid rules can preempt state laws and penalize violators with significant fines. Even in a court ruling, most administrative rules are upheld over existing local laws.

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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