ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

 

1. The process of administrative agencies making and enforcing rules which have the force of law is sometimes called “the headless fourth branch of government” and is criticized as being an inappropriate delegation of legislative power. Discuss these concepts in depth to demonstrate your understanding, and in your discussion, provide well thought out points to either support or refute these criticisms. This question calls for a discussion of the expansion of government through the creation of the many federal agencies and cabinet offices and their power in regulation and enforcement. There is also some well-reasoned opinion called for on the appropriateness of this extensive expansion of the power of the executive branch.
2. The concept of administrative law is defined and regulated by the Administrative Procedures Act. Discuss key components of the act and the legislative intent behind these components. As a minimum, this question requires extensive discussion of the rule making process and the process of adjudication. In the discussion of legislative intent, it is also important to include discussion of the reasons for these processes, which is basically the implementation of laws created by the legislature and their interpretation in specific instances.
3. The key processes of administrative law include rule making and adjudication. Discuss these concepts to demonstrate a clear understanding, and in your discussion clearly describe the differences between the two processes. This question is quite clear in calling for a clear discussion of the differences between the concepts.
4. Discuss the concept of torts and how torts relate to administering law in the public sector, especially considering the concept of sovereign immunity. While it is necessary here to define the concept, its application to administrative law needs to be discussed with a clear discussion of sovereign immunity and its limitations included.
5. In the United States the legal system is quite complex due to its dual structure and the relationship between those two structures at state and federal levels. Discuss the legal system as pointed out in class, and discuss the relationship between state and federal court systems. This question calls for a discussion of the court systems at both the state and federal level and their relationship to each other. The concept of federal versus state laws needs to be included as well as the role of the federal courts in relationship to the states when questions of constitutional issues come up.
6. One of the most critical legal concepts to understand in administrative law is the concept of due process. Discuss due process to demonstrate a clear understanding of the concept, and in your discussion, include the history of the concept at both the state and federal level. This question requires a discussion of the basic concept of due process, and its origin in the 5th Amendment as then brought to the states via the 14th Amendment
. 7. Discuss the concept of judicial review of administrative actions, and debate the friction between the opposing philosophies of judicial deference versus active oversight. Take a position as to the most appropriate role for the courts in that debate. To be successful in responding to this question, your discussion needs to deal with the ideas of judicial deference to agencies and to the legislature, ripeness, standing and the courts only being directly involved in questions of due process, and when the question of the role and power of administrative agencies within the law is in question or when specific constitutional issues are raised.
8. Discuss the differences between private and public employment and the relationship of public employment to the administrative law process. This question needs to include a discussion the fact that in public employment the Constitution comes into play in the area of due process and because there is a question of a property right in public employment.
9. Discuss the concepts of “strict constructionist” versus “activist” roles for federal courts in the United States, and in your discussion support and defend one of those approaches over the other. This question obviously calls for discussion of the the role of the judiciary in interpreting constitutional questions based on how the Constitution is written and its original intent versus a more changing approach to such interpretation by considering a changing society. A well-reasoned opinion discussion is also called for.
10. Discuss the concept of “independent regulatory commissions” versus “dependent regulatory agencies” to demonstrate a clear understanding of the differences and their roles. Include the advantages and disadvantages of the two approaches to regulation and make an argument for one or the other approaches as the most appropriate to ensure an appropriate regulatory process. This question obviously calls for discussion of commissions versus administrative agencies, their makeup, their level of independence, and finally a well-reasoned opinion discussion relating to the “appropriate” part of the question.
11. Discuss how criminal and administrative law differ and how they relate to each other in the administrative law in the public sector. This question requires a discussion of the differences in the purposes of criminal and administrative law, a consideration of the differing levels of proof. Discussion of the concepts of “mala in se” versus “mala prohibita” and a discussion of torts versus crimes would be appropriate.
12. Discuss the concept of eminent domain and how it relates to administrative law in the contemporary environment. This discussion obviously calls for enough of a discussion of the concepts to show your understanding, but a discussion of the current use of the process would also be important. This is a 40-point case scenario: Mrs. Smith is a single mother receiving welfare benefits to help support her three children. The contractor agency administering the welfare program for the state determines that Mrs. Smith is working at McDonalds, and is receiving child support from the father of one of the children. The agency terminates her welfare benefits. Mrs. Smith is devastated and objects to the loss of the benefits. Discuss the issues involved in such a case and discuss Mrs. Smith’s recourse if her objections are ignored. This is obviously a take-off on the “Goldberg v. Kelly” case, and requires an in-depth discussion of the minimum standards of due process as developed by that case. Since it is a 40-point question, I was asking for significant depth of discussion.