Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp

Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp v Natural Resources Defense Council The issue in the case of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp. v. Natural Resources Defense Council 435 U.S. 519 (1978) asks:

Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp
Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp

The issue in the case of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp. v. Natural Resources Defense Council 435 U.S. 519 (1978) asks:

Should a court have the right or power to impose procedural rule-making procedures on an agency? What did the Court decide?

Please state one important concept that you take away from the Court’s decision in this case about rule-making procedure?

Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp Module 10: Lecture

Administrative agencies created by the U.S. Constitution, Congress, state legislatures, and local lawmaking bodies manage contingencies, redress serious social problems, and manage complex matters of governmental concern. Administrative agency actions can be categorized as one of three types: Rulemaking,  Adjudication, and Investigation. Agencies have these components as well as an investigative component. We have looked at delegation so some of this may sound familiar. In the peer response, please incorporate a discussion of the rule-making procedure from the text materials.investigative component. We have looked at delegation so some of this may sound familiar.

Agency rulemaking. What is it? How is it different from adjudication both informal and formal adjudication?

  1. Rulemaking: what is it?

Administrative agencies use the rulemaking process to create, or proclaim regulations. Rule-making is also called Quasi Legislative Authority. What does this mean?

  1. Rulemaking is the agency establishment of law to implement or perform a statutory duty
  2. Frequently, agencies use rulemaking powers to fill in gaps or explain details undefined in legislation ? See pages 118-120 for an example of rulemaking delegated to the Wage and Hour Administrator regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act
  3. Regulations are subordinate to statutes but have equal weight when applied
  4. The authority to establish substantive rules must stem from an enabling statute
  5. The legislative delegation of authority must be reasonable. Unreasonable delegations will be invalidated by the courts.

Delegations that concern suspect classes or fundamental rights are subject to strict scrutiny

Authority to create substantive rules cannot be assumed by an agency

Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp

Generally, the legislature makes laws based on the policy mandates of the government. However, legislatures frequently find areas where it is impractical for lawmakers to apply a level of detail or expertise required to constitute complete standards. Then the legislatures delegate rulemaking function to administrative agencies. Agencies create detailed regulations through rulemaking. Purposes of rulemaking are to add scientific expertise, implementation details, and industry expertise. When administrative agencies make rules they are to be made flexible, because new data and technology that influence the rules emerge frequently. Administrative agencies’ rulemaking power is subject to judicial review. Hence the agencies actions should be in accordance with its enabling statutes.

Section 551(4) of the APA defines a rule as the “whole or a part of an agency statement of general or particular applicability and future effect designed to implement, interpret or prescribe law or policy or describing the organization, procedure or practice requirements of an agency”. Rules – actions intended to have a future effect

Generally directed at large groups

  1. Adjudication: Different from Rulemaking.

Adjudication is a process that investigates, declares and enforces liabilities as they stand on present or past facts and under laws supposed already to exist…” – Justice Holmes

Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp

Administrative adjudication is the exercise of judicial powers by an administrative agency. Legislative body delegates judicial powers to the agency. Generally, administrative agencies deal with disputes between individuals and government in terms of benefits sought or disabilities incurred from the government action. Generally, adjudication is for individual claims. See the Figure 6-2 in the textbook. There are due process concerns (remember what you learned in chapter 4). What might these concerns be?

Agencies may often make rules without conducting hearings

Adjudication requires notice and an opportunity to be heard

Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp

Formal adjudication involves a trial-like hearing with witness testimony, a written record and a final decision. However, under informal adjudication, decisions are made using inspections, conferences and negotiations.

With informal adjudications, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) makes a decision based on reasoned analysis, written findings of fact, and conclusions of law. We call this Quasi-judicial authority. It is the administrative agency hearing power.

This decision is subject to appeal to the highest administrative authority of the agency. Administrative fact-findings (also called decisions) are binding on courts unless not supported by substantial evidence. Generally, judicial review of formal agency adjudication is limited to questions of law. Think about the Goldberg case here – questions of law are when the 5th and 14th amendments of the US Constitution are violated.

Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp TYPES OF RULES

There are two types of rules? Legislative rules and Procedural rules. We have spent much of this course looking at procedural rules. A legislative delegation of authority provides implicit authority to establish procedures necessary to enforce and implement the agency’s mandate Substantive Law. There is no inherent authority to create substantive rules

Congress must delegate this authority

Necessary gap-filling may be allowed if Congress’s intent is clear

Courts may not substitute their judgment for that of a substantive agency rule

You will also learn about something called “Interpretive rules”

Used to inform the public of how a rule will be implementing or enforcing a rule ? They do not declare anything new

They do not fill in gaps

They do not have the force of statutes

No express or implied delegation of authority is required to authorize an agency to issue interpretive rules

Courts generally give great weight to interpretive rules.

In essence, we are applying the Constitutional due process rules now to the system of rule-making.

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