Administrative Law - Verkuil - Fall 2004 (2)

Administrative Law - Verkuil - Fall 2004 (2) -...

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1 Administrative Law Outline I. Legal Limitations on Agency Control I. General principle . Besides political and institutional influences, legislative decisions concerning how to structure and oversee agency govt are constrained by legal limitations. Congress must respect constitutional requirements such as SOP and Due Process. In addition, it cannot force an agency to act inconsistently with the APA or its statutory mandate except by amending those statutes A. Nondelegation Doctrine . The Constitution provides that all legislative powers shall be vested in a Congress of the United States ( Art. 1, §1 ). This provision is both a grant of power to the Congress and a limitation upon its use. It prohibits from delegating its legislative powers to any other institution. That prohibition suggests that broad and vague delegations of power to administrative agencies may be unconstitutional. i. Traditional test . Broad delegations were permissible provided that Congress established a sufficiently “ intelligible principle ” to which the agency must conform in order that the judiciary would be able to determine whether an agency was meeting the intentions of Congress. ii. The New Deal Cases . Panama Refining Co. v. Ryan (1935). Put an end to broad and vague delegations. SC declared unconstitutional a provision of the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) that authorized the President to “prohibit…the transportation in interstate commerce of petroleum…produced or withdrawn form storage in excess of the amount permitted by state law.” The provision was intended to prevent the sale of “hot oil” that occurred when oil companies avoided state restrictions on how much petroleum they could sell by shipping more than the allowable amount in interstate commerce. The SC concluded that the provision did NOT pass the standards test b/c it did NOT state whether, or in what circumstances , or under what conditions, the President is to prohibit the transportation of petroleum in excess of state’s permission. Since there was no such standard, the Court believed the President had been given “an unlimited authority to determine the policy and to lay down the prohibition, or NOT to lay it down, as he may see fit.” The sole dissenting opinion, by Justice Cardozo, argued that the statute did provide standards that limited the President’s discretion in the first section of the NIRA. In that section, Congress had indicated that two of the goals of the act were to eliminate unfair competition and conservation of natural resources. Cardozo thought the act provided standards, b/c any action would have to be consistent with those goals. Schechter Poultry (1935). The SC declared a different provision of the NIRA unconstitutional. The NIRA allowed firms in an industry to agree to “codes of fair competition” in order to eliminate forms of competition and
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2 keep prices low. The President was authorized to enforce the codes so long as: the
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This note was uploaded on 02/14/2008 for the course LAW 7521 taught by Professor Stack during the Fall '04 term at Yeshiva.

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Administrative Law - Verkuil - Fall 2004 (2) -...

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