Administrative law, writ large, is about the way agencies behave, and how other institutions and the public react to that behavior. By promulgating rules, adjudicating cases and claims, enforcing statutes, providing guidance, collaborating with interest groups, exercising discretion, and so forth, agencies manage and implement the business of government.1 They do this under the auspices of the Executive Branch, but the other branches assert authority over the agencies as well. Congress does so by legislating, budgeting, and overseeing, while the courts do so by interpreting statutes and requiring rational behavior from agencies. These important and essential activities fill many law school publications with statutes, cases, and rules. But the branches that produce this body of law are institutionally constrained—they have difficulty testing hypotheses or experimenting with alternatives before statutes are enacted, cases are decided, or rules are promulgated.
Paul R. Verkuil,
What the Return of the Administrative Conference of the United States Means for Administrative Law,
Mich. J. Envtl. & Admin. L.
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mjeal/vol1/iss1/1