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Unformatted text preview: 341 C HAPTER 43 A DMINISTRATIVE L AW A NSWERS TO Q UESTIONS AT THE E NDS OF THE C ASES CASE 43.1—QUESTIONS (PAGE 890) 1A. According to the court’s opinion in this case, is an administrative agency locked into its first interpretation of a statute? Why or why not? No. A settled, or consistent, course of conduct indicates an agency's judgment that, in following that course, it is carrying out the policies in its enabling statute. An agency is not locked into its first interpretation of a statute, however. It can change course, adopting a new, even entirely inconsistent position. On a challenge the change, though, a court will likely require a reasoned analysis to justify it. An agency's failure to reconcile conflicting precedents may be held to fall short of the requirement of reasoned decision-making, and the agency’s change in course might then be ruled arbitrary and capricious. 2A. Were the agency’s reasons for its actions rejected in this case because the court disagreed with those reasons? Explain. No. The court explained that it rejected the agency’s reasons for its change of course because those reasons had no support in the record. The agency “has failed to set forth the required reasoned explanation because its proffered rationale remains unsupported by any record evidence.” The court also noted that the agency’s “rationale is disconnected from the actual policy implemented.” CASE 43.2—(PAGE 894) WHAT IF THE FACTS WERE DIFFERENT? Suppose that the statutory definitions of THC and marijuana covered natu- rally occurring THC and non-psychoactive hemp. Would the result have been different? Explain. Yes. The agency based its failure to follow the required rulemaking procedures on the ground that the substances were already prohibited by statute, and the court based its ruling in part on the ground that the substances were not banned. 342 UNIT NINE: GOVERNMENT REGULATION THE E-COMMERCE DIMENSION How might the Internet expedite formal rulemaking procedures such as those ordered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in this case? Discuss. The use of the Internet might effectively speed the formal rulemaking process by, for example, allowing interested parties to submit proposed findings and oppose the stated bases of tentative agency decisions. The agency might also find it expeditious to issue formal rulings on each finding, conclusion, or exception on the Web. CASE 43.3—(PAGE 896) THE ETHICAL DIMENSION Is it ethical for an administrative agency to reverse or otherwise alter its policy when the change increases the financial burden on the regulated parties? Explain. An agency may act within ethical—and legal—bounds when it alters a policy, and the change does not necessarily indicate that the previous policy was “wrong.” A change can be a reasonable response to a problem that arises during the course of carrying out a policy that could have been itself reasonably determined. An agency is certainly entitled to consider alternatives before selecting one over the others,...
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This note was uploaded on 03/17/2011 for the course LAW 1024066 taught by Professor K during the Spring '09 term at Fairleigh Dickinson.
- Spring '09