Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Brief Thoughts on Administrative Law

As I completed my Administrative Law exam today, a disturbing thought occurred to me.

Under Goldberg v. Kelly (1970), the right to welfare was recognized as a property interest, requiring a full due process hearing before the termination of benefits. While Goldberg has been limited today, the principle of individual consideration and some sort of hearing process and procedure applies for the deprivation of any government entitlement.

Contrast that with concepts of administrative rulemaking. Administrative agencies can impose environmental and health regulations which cost businesses thousands if not millions of dollars. And the process for passing these regulations involve no individual consideration at all. If fact, typical notice and comment rulemaking only require agencies to consider opposition to proposed rules. This means they are free to impose whatever regulatory burden they want.

Just sort of interesting- take away someone's welfare check, and you have to give them a trial-type hearing. Pass a regulation which might shut down a small business, and you have no recourse.


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