Adjudication and Enforcement of Administrative Law

Adjudication and Enforcement of Administrative Law

explores evidentiary adjudication of the federal government’s administrative regulations, which encompasses specific formal proceedings held before a judicial authority—usually a judge or a special court-appointed arbitrator. At these proceedings, the evidence is presented into the legal record, and a determination on the legal standing, rights, and obligations of individuals, corporations, and other entities must be made. This is largely based on the facts presented before the convening authority and judicial precedent. This type of evidentiary adjudication is commonly used in a wide array of administrative decision processes ranging from determining if an individual or a group is eligible for a specific benefit or entitlement, or has been illegally or unfairly denied due process in a variety of economic, health care, or labor relations practices. These hearings often involve court appearances of concerned parties and in-person testimonies.

For the professional bureaucrats responsible for implementing a federal agency’s regulatory responsibilities, adjudication requires a detailed, well-documented explanation to the judicial authority of exactly what statutory laws and agency regulations are being applied, how, when, why, and by whom. These bureaucrats must also be able to succinctly explain and articulate how the particular rule(s) in question are being consistently, fairly, and properly enforced. The result of these evidentiary hearings is a formal decision, which is made and subsequently published by the judicial authority. Unlike traditional democratic notions of protracted public debate and open consideration and dialogue between elected representatives at a public forum, administrative evidentiary adjudication is generally a much more concise, streamlined process.

After completing this week’s assigned reading materials, identify what you see as the most daunting contemporary challenge federal agencies face today as they seek to create, modify, and enforce far-reaching administrative regulations nation-wide.

A white paper is a document which provides a reader with background on a particular topic to increase understanding, enable problem-solving, and foster decision-making. In the policy-making process, a white paper is generally written in formal language, with substantive text and ample data to provide an in-depth discussion of an issue. For this exercise, you are a senior public administrator assigned to the Administrative Enforcement Division of Federal Agency ‘X’ in Washington, DC. You have been tasked to prepare a white paper for your agency’s director providing an analysis on your understanding of how federal agency-level administrative action is considered law for federalism purposes, yet not law within the constitutionally-enshrined separation of powers by the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. Next, critically analyze what you see as the inherent strengths and weaknesses of differences of administrative rulemaking as compared to traditional statutory rulemaking, which is performed by the country’s elected political representatives on Capitol Hill and within the Oval Office. Specify how public officials can address any potential weaknesses you identify in this white paper.
Your assignment should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course by providing new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic.