This course is an introduction to the federal administrative state. We will study both the powers that agencies possess and the constitutional, statutory, and other limitations on those powers. We will explore the relationship of agencies to Congress, the courts, the President, and the public; the procedures through which agencies operate; and the availability and scope of judicial review of agency action. Along the way, we will consider the rationales for delegating power to agencies, the implications of the ways agencies are structured, and the values that do or should guide agency conduct.
The course thus has theoretical components, but it is also extremely practical, and I will emphasize both theory and practice during the course. The work of federal agencies affects nearly every area of modern life, from environmental protection to financial markets to national security—not to mention public health, medicine,voting, and mail.This course will prepare you to engage with that law, whether as a public servant, a lawyer representing a client, or a citizen interacting with your government. Understanding how regulation works will serve you well in your legal careers (and your lives), whatever you choose to do with your degree.