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Administrative Law: Home

The guide covers federal administrative powers, rule-making and decison-making and links to state administrative law materials.

The Context of Administrative Law

A law may be self-implementing or it may require that steps be taken to implement it. A law that requires implementation will describe, at least in broad outline, the entity or entities that will be responsible for implementation and the scope of the implementing authority. The President and administrative agencies are the entities that are usually delegated power by Congress to implement a law. Administrative rules (also referred to as regulations) are a form of law created by agencies to implement laws and are often referred to as delegated legislation, because the implementation power has been delegated by Congress. Many agencies also have decision-making authority to adjudicate issues that fall within the authority granted to them by Congress. Administrative law research thus requires an understanding of:

Federal Agency Symbols

  • the sources and scope of agency power
  • the scope and nature of agency rule-making authority, and
  • the scope and nature of agency decision-making authority.

Research Problems

Administrative Law Research Tasks

At the federal and state level, administrative law research involves questions regarding the substantive role of the agency, its rulemaking authority, and its decision-making authority.  Frequently encountered questions include:

  • How do I know what an agency is allowed to do?
  • How do I know that an agency is properly doing what it is allowed to do?
  • How do I find and navigate an agency website?
  • How do I find the text of a current rule?  A proposed rule? A superseded or repealed rule?
  • How do I find the original text of a rule? Amendments?
  • How do I find an administrative history for my rule? for amendments to the rule?
  • How do I find comments submitted regarding a proposed rule?
  • How do I submit a comment for a proposed rule?
  • How do I determine the agency's decision-making authority?
  • How do I determine that the agency is properly exercising its decision-making authority?
  • How do I learn the procedure for a rule challenge? for a contested agency action?
  • How do I locate an agency proposed order? A final order?
  • In Florida, what is DOAH's role?  How do I determine its authority? its procedure?
  • How do I find an agency order interpreting a rule?
  • How do I find a judicial opinion interpreting a rule?
  • How do I locate county and municipal level administrative rules and decisions?

Use the links to find information that will help you address the question.

Sources of Executive Branch Materials

Subject Guide

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Mary McCormick
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Florida State University
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