Climate Change Project

Table of Contents



Administrative Law Study Questions - Part 1


Explain, with examples, the difference between public and private law.

How does the seatbelt controversy illustrate the nature of the administrative process? Be specific as to what happened.


What is the role and meaning of separation of powers in the organization of the US government, and where do agencies fit in the governmental structure?


How does congress control agencies? (There are at least 6 ways.)

Why are many of these very hard to attack through litigation?

What is standardless delegation and why does congress sometimes use it?

How is the FTC as an example of congressional control?

What is the nondelegation doctrine?

What are the three tests the court used in delegation cases prior to the New Deal?

What are the Hot Oil and Chicken Cases, and how did they lead to the switch in time that saved nine?

How has the court handled non-delegation issues since the New Deal? Why do the Benzene and cotton dust cases show that non-delegation is not completely dead?

Discuss the legal issues in Chadha and how they were resolved, and what effect this might have on Congress delegating power to agencies?

What happened in FTC v. Cement Institute and Pillsbury and what does it tell us about Congress meddling in adjudications?

What does the APA say about this? Does this resolve the issue of Congressional meddling?

What was at issue in DC Federation of Civic Associations v. Volpe? How did the court resolve this? How was this modified by Sierra Club v. Costle?

What are the special characteristics of Article III judges? When are you most clearly entitled to have your case decided by an Art. III judge?


What is the basic method of Executive control of agencies?

What is the role of the OMB in executive control of agencies?

What is an executive order and what are they used for?

What is an independent agency, with examples?

Are independent agencies discussed in the Constitution?

What are the functional characteristics of independent agencies?

Discuss Myers and Humphrey's Estate and what they tell use about the removal process.

What was Morrison v. Olson about?

What is the core function test from Morrison?

What is a "Principal" versus "Inferior" officers and why should we care?

How can tort law and civil service rules limit Executive control?


What is a conclusion of law and how does the court review these?

What are findings of fact and how are these reviewed?

What are the constitutional issues in choice of agency procedure?

What is the relationship between agency efficiency and agency procedural protections?

What is the constitutional basis for judicial review? Can this be changed by statute?

What does Section 701 of the APA govern?

When does it apply?

What does 701(2) say and how was this construed in Overton Park and Dalton v. Spector?

What are 7 things the courts use standing for?

What type of injury is required for standing?

Do taxpayers usually have standing? Why not, and how was this modified in FEC v. Akins?

What have been the difficulties with standing the environmental law cases?

What is the required nexus between the injury and the interest asserted? How is this illustrated by Flast v. Cohen and Powers v. Ohio?

Discussed how causality and redressability affect standing?

What is the APA standard for standing? What questions does this leave the court?

What does Air Courier Conference v. American Postal Workers Union tell us about standing?

What is associational standing and what is the test for it?

What is the value of being in intervener in agency action?

When must an agency allow you to participate in an ongoing agency activity?

How can agencies use formal rulemaking to limit interventions?

What do Church of Christ v. FCC and National Welfare Rights Org. v. Finch tell us about the court's views on intervention?

What is the downside of liberal intervention rules?

When might the government fund interventions by NGOs? What problems does this pose?

What does 28 USC 1331 tell us about jurisdiction?

Where can congress move jurisdiction?

When does district court jurisdiction make sense?

When does circuit court jurisdiction make sense?

What is forum shopping and why does it matter?

What is the strongest presumption about the timing of judicial review? When will the court overrule this presumption?

Are there Art. III issues in waiting for final agency action?

What does APA 704 say?

When is exhaustion of remedies required? Discuss Bethlehem Shipbuilding, AMP, McKart, and Darby v. Cisneros.

When is agency action ripe for review? Discuss Abbot Labs v. Gardner and its two-part test.

Why was the issue not ripe in the Toilet case?

Why can losing a ripeness case be a strategic benefit?

What is the purpose of the primary jurisdiction doctrine?

What is the special nature of the antitrust laws and why do they pose special primary jurisdiction problems?

Discuss Ricci and its three-part test.

Why do agency actions take so long? What APA section addresses this? Is it easy to attack in court? What else can you do?

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