The Catholic University of America

CUA Law Professor Megan M. La Belle spoke at the First Annual Symposium on Administrative Law Agency Adjudication and The Rule of Law held at George Mason University on Sept. 26, 2018. 

Agency Adjudication and The Rule of Law

"The George Mason Law Review and the C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State are pleased to announce their first annual Administrative Law Symposium. And to inaugurate this series, we are focusing on one of the most fundamental questions of administrative law: What does it mean for agencies to “adjudicate”?

Article III of the Constitution commits “the judicial power” to courts; yet agencies, in exercising the “executive power” to administer federal law on a case-by-case basis, have long adopted quasi-judicial procedures to adjudicate individual matters.

The Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 attempted to clarify the difference between rulemaking and adjudication, and to regularize at least somewhat the process for “adjudication” across agencies. As with so much of the APA, Congress tried to strike a balance between accountability, expertise, and independence. The last consideration took particular prominence when “hearing officers” gave way to “administrative law judges.”

Years before the APA, the Supreme Court recognized the fundamental paradox at the heart of agency adjudication, especially when it implicates private rights. Today these issues are once again in the spotlight, in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s new decisions in Lucia and Oil States."


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Lisa Lerman  

Professor Megan M. La Belle's
Areas of Expertise

Intellectual Property

Civil Procedure

Federal Courts

For additional information about our professors' areas of speciality, see the Catholic University Experts page.