How Administrative Laws Work

To understand how administrative law works, you first have to grasp how government agencies, which the government creates are dedicated to certain issues, are formed. Each agency is given a general structure and assigned a particular problem or issue to investigate, monitor, and, in most cases, regulate. This leaves a lot to be determined by the agency, such as what is of concern and how to enforce laws about the issue; since there are many of these government agencies, over 450 of them at the start of 2021, it is imperative that there is a way to regulate the organizations and their powers.

In 1946 Administrative law was established under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Administrative law makes rules for agencies seeking to create laws and enforce them. Normally, this entails a process where Congress and their authoritative forces must approve regulations that these agencies propose. The ability to adjudicate or give the final word on a matter is outlined. In many cases, this means that an agency has to follow the law when interacting with the public, making administrative law a form of public law or the law that governs the relationship between the government and the general public.

As another rule of administrative law, when it is suspected that a government agency has abused its power, a judge known as an administrative law judge will investigate and determine the situation's outcome. This further ensures that all actions of government agencies are justified and constitutional.

Real-World Example of Administrative Law

In 2000, in a case known as FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) attempted to regulate tobacco and tobacco products, citing the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act. The FDA claimed that tobacco was classified as a drug and that the agency had Congress's authority, through administrative law, to influence and monitor its production. Many large tobacco companies and corporations, including the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation, argued against this, saying that tobacco was not a drug and should not be regulated under the FDA's jurisdiction.

This case eventually reached the Supreme Court, where Congress then ruled that tobacco did not classify as a drug and should not be monitored by the FDA. Ultimately, Congress passed a separate bill into law that gave the FDA the ability to regulate tobacco under administrative law. However, this case provides a good look at how flexible and dynamic administrative law truly is and how these agencies' laws are required to follow influence the way they interact with the public.

Types of Administrative Laws

While administrative laws are normally all-encompassing, they can be broken down into two types; rules and regulations and administrative decisions. The various government agencies are the ones who write and create the laws from a need they see; they then take these laws to congress to further the protection and enforcement of the proposed law.