In the second section of this course, you will be introduced to several key aspects of administrative law within the context of American federal agency-level regulatory functions. First, the dynamics of formal, informal, hybrid and negotiated governmental rulemaking will be reviewed, and the impact of advisory committees on the process will also be examined. Second, you will explore the process of adjudicating administrative rules, and the delicate balancing act government bureaucrats must perform as they seek to implement administrative regulatory rules for specific objectives to support the common good. Simultaneously, these same administrative bureaucrats must address concerns of the community-at-large as well as interest groups, provide specific program details/metrics of their administrative actions to judicial and legislative oversight inquiries, and adhere to any judicial or legislative resolution-oriented caveats that may occur with negotiated actions before consistently enforcing the resulting final regulation.
Next, the fundamental premise of a transparent, fair, and objective government administrative regulatory system will be explored. A variety of ‘sunshine’ statutory laws (transparency laws requiring certain governmental proceedings to be open or available to the public) ranging from public reporting, the Freedom of Information Act, and the Presidential Records Act ensure individual citizens and interest groups alike have visibility, access, and input into the overall development of the federal government’s department/agency-level administrative regulatory actions. While being as transparent and open as possible with the particular who, when, where, why, and how details with the public, bureaucrats must also balance the public’s need-to-know with safeguarding specific information deemed classified, confidential, or private. Finally, you will examine the oversight responsibilities of both the legislative and judicial branches of the federal government, which were originally designed by the Founding Fathers to prevent bureaucratic overreach.