Section Description Provided by Instructor
The course in Administrative Law is the Civil Procedure of the regulatory state, and this course will provide a focused and rigorous introduction to it. Administrative Law relates to courses on regulation in roughly the same way Civil Procedure relates to Contracts, Property, and Torts. The course is concerned with the procedures by which official bodies other than legislatures, courts and prosecutors are governed and reach conclusions in their dealings with the public. Both the procedures employed by agencies themselves, and their oversight relationships with the legislature, the chief executive, and the courts are considered. As government assumes greater control over human activity, lawyers need to know what procedures government agencies employ and what options are available in dealing with them as client, as adversary, or as a fact of public life. The constitutional framework for government is as important in this respect as statutory provisions, and students should expect considerable attention to both.
The principal emphasis of the course is on the major federal agencies, the procedures they employ, and the opportunities available for members of the public (regulated industry or interested citizen) to understand, influence, or control their actions. As the course attempts to place agencies in their full operating environment, political as well as judicial controls are stressed. Agency rulemaking and information handling, which involve unfamiliar procedures, are given greater attention than agency adjudication, which approximates the familiar judicial model. These are contexts in which political controls have considerable importance, and contemporary reshapings of those controls will be important in the course.
As we live in an information age, considerable attention is likely to be given to agency uses of electronic media, their increasing importance for agency action, and public awareness of and participation in agency processes. As in past years, students will be asked to choose an agency of interest to them, and to follow it (and its executive branch overseer, the OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Analysis) on the Internet throughout the term, as a means of "grounding" the course and of starting to consider the likely impact of the Internet on governmental functioning. Use of a class Wiki to develop a collaborative outline of the course will be encouraged.
The course materials are Strauss, Rakoff, Farina, and Metzger, Administrative Law: Cases and Comments (11th. Ed., 2011).
MTW 1:20 –2:40 p.m.
Method of Evaluation
J.D. Writing Credit
Minor (upon consultation), Major (only upon consultation) (Arrangements must be made before or during the first two weeks of the semester)
Constitutional Law; Federal Courtrs; any course (e.g., Environmental Law Labor Law or Securities Regulation) significantly involving the substantive responsibility of government agencies.
This course will be open to a limited number of 1Ls as a spring elective.