LSTD300 Administrative Law and Policy (3 semester hours)

This undergraduate course is the study of the work of administrative agencies in the executive branch of the United States government with some additional material on administrative agencies in state and local governments. Administrative law and policy touches virtually every person in the United States virtually every day of the year. It is the administrative agencies that fill in the "details" of government policy. Indeed, administrative agencies are so important and so powerful that they are frequently referred to as the "fourth branch of government. "This course will examine the position that agencies occupy in our constitutional system of government by carefully detailing the respective roles of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government. The course will be mainly concerned with administrative procedure (i.e., agency rulemaking and adjudication, agency investigations, agency sanctions) but because it is almost impossible to distinguish between substance and procedure, the procedural elements of administrative law will be illustrated and discussed in the context of a specific agency action--e.g., the Environmental Protection Agency's actions on carbon emissions and global warming. The course will analyze the work of the "independent regulatory commissions" as well as those agencies that are completely under the control of the President of the United States. Both the legislative and judicial branches of our government have a large impact on administrative law, so the actions of Congress in creating and watching over the agencies and the actions of the courts in adhering to the rule of law for agency action ("judicial review of agency action") will be vital components of the course.