The rapid growth of Administrative law has become the foundation stone of modern political philosophy

“The rapid growth of Administrative law has become the foundation stone of modern political philosophy”. Illustrate & explain


Administrative law is that section of law which decides the structure, powers and responsibilities of administrative authorities. Administrative law was first defined by Mr. M. J. Fort of England in the year 1929 in his book on administrative law. He stated that administrative law is that part of law which is allocated to rules, regulations, notifications, order, by-laws, schemes, circulars, and so on.

The most important and marvelous development of the 20th century is the rapid growth of administrative law. Though administrative law has existed in one structure or another before the 20th century, it is in this century that the viewpoint as to the task and purpose of the state has undergone a fundamental change. The governmental operations have multiplied greatly. Today the state is not only a law enforcement state implementing independent functions but as a progressive democratic state it attempts to guarantee social security, social welfare for the common public, regulates the industrial relations, exercises control over the manufacture and distribution of essential commodities, sets up many enterprises, tries to attain equality for all and guarantee equal pay for equal work.

Reason giving is central to U.S. administrative law and practice. Courts and legislatures want agencies to back their actions with reasons, and administrative-law scholars hypothesize the practice of reason giving as essential to limiting and legalizing administrative agencies. Traditionally, courts and scholars alike have located both the constraining and legitimating force of reasons but several advancements signal a change in this belief.

Scholars have revealed new awareness of agency reason giving, with top administrative-law scholars supporting advances to arbitrary-and-capricious review that would promote or entail agencies to express openly the political reasons for their actions. Among both Supreme Court Justices and legal commentators, the pendulum appears to be wavering from an understanding of reasons as rationality to an understanding of reasons as politics.

This political spin in the policy overriding agency reason giving is very much linked with a gathering movement to rethink the legality of administrative agencies in terms of their political accountability as opposed to their proficiency, their loyalty to constitutional orders, or their role as fora for strong citizen involvement and consideration. Under existing ideas of the arbitrary-and-capricious standard, a court’s task in evaluating agency attempts of policymaking caution is to make sure “that agencies have engaged in reasoned decision making.” To make this evaluation, courts have required “that an agency provide reasoned explanation for its action,”[1]establishing a “rational connection between the facts found and the choice made.” Political reason-giving models would increase the world of legitimate reasons for agency activities to incorporate a claim by the agency that it imitated a presidential directive that was itself advocated by good reasons.

The Political Turn in Administrative Reason Giving in America

If the State Farm’s greater part defined the rationalist reason-giving model, a fractional agreement in that case contained what can be called the political turn. On review in State Farm was the Reagan administration’s cancellation of a safety level published by President Carter’s Department of Transportation (DOT) that needed auto manufacturers to install either air bags or automatic seat belts in new-model cars.[2]Even though politics had obviously aggravated this decision the Justices in the State Farm majority failed to consider the implications of the president’s electoral consent for the legality of this change in policy. Instead, the Court invalidated the DOT’s rescission on the view that the agency’s justifications had been a failure in meeting the suitable standard of “reasoned decision making.” It is readily evident that the accountability members of one administration may consider public opposition and uncertainties to be more significant than do their counterparts in a preceding administration. As long as the agency remains within the boundaries formed by Congress, it is allowed to evaluate administrative records and evaluate priorities in light of the philosophy of the administration.

Evolution of Administrative Law and Politics

All in all, the evolution of administrative law has been explained by wavering between procedures, which serve up due to the system or rule-of-law values, and politics, which is addressed in terms of responsibility and competence. This fluctuation has formed set of laws that reveal both the procedural and political impulses. Administrative law thus sends contradictory signals to agencies regarding choice of administrative measures, intensity of judicial review, and availability of judicial review. When taking into consideration how to resolute the tension, legal scholars roughly divide into two groups – those who prefer procedures and those who prefer politics.[3] Neither completely dismisses the other, of course. No scholar says that political answerability is extraneous, even if they resist particular efforts to provide presidents running room. Instead, legal scholars almost divide on which normative values and which judicial decisions they believe make a bigger contribution to the legality of agency action.

The Positive Political Theory Account of Administrative Procedures

Legal scholars have not sufficiently measured what positive political theorists have been saying about administrative procedures for at least the last two decades. Coincident with the arrival of the presidential control model, PPT scholars started implying that Congress can utilize administrative procedures to manipulate agency action before it is finalized. Therefore, procedures are, or can be, about politics and not simply about law. Although legal scholars have approved that procedures may relate to lawmaking oversight, they have not taken this concept seriously because of their dominant dedication to other values. Yet it is this function that has the prospect to change our knowledge on administrative law.

A Role for the Court in Politics

The Court has created into administrative law a deliberate political usage for administrative procedures. Without completely giving up a positive focus, this section states that we might view the Court’s project in a way that is more common to legal scholars. The Court is genuinely interested in making most use of congressional control to produce the right rules for agency action. As a result, the Court is functioning with the political forces in the administrative process to make certain that agency decision making is consistent with democratic essentials. This understanding of administrative law establishes a link between law and politics.

General Considerations

Why would the Court select rules that will make congressional control easier?

We might assume that the Court is sincerely interested in finding the proper rules for agency action. In contrast, we might understand that the Court views administrative law as helping to bring together the administrative state with the constitutional structure and in this sense, as attempting to encourage the validity of agency action. This idea of administrative law is not just a law expert’s imaginary formation or fascination. It is a rational assumption. At the same time, we might acknowledge that the Court does not only try to improve the sorts of values that attract intellectual academics and jurists, but those that satisfy beginner level politicians in Congress. Rule-of-law values are important because they protect individual rights and endorse democratic ambitions. But politics is also important. In extending administrative procedures, the Court is trying to equal the practical way that agencies function with a normative approach of how they should function.


This assignment has joined the perceptiveness of positive political theorists about the objective of administrative procedures with the aim of legal scholars to comprehend administrative law in a way that makes agencies acceptable in our constitutional arrangement. In doing so, it has come up with a descriptively better and normative justifiable picture of administrative law. It has revealed that administrative law can be understood as providing Congress with the right to use information about agency action before it is finalized, and even with the right to use information about action inaction. It does not challenge that the standard legal account of administrative procedures – as endorsing due process and rule-of law values – is erroneous. Instead, it states that the substitute account has influence that the conservative account does not. The assignment also states that the Court is in service more as lawyers tend to view it, as trying to establish the best rules for agency action. However instead of just constraining the Court to pursue typical rule-of-law values, it suggests that the Court also is aware of politics. In understanding administrative procedures and establishing administrative law more commonly, the Court has met the realistic needs of politicians to control agency action within a broader constitutional system of checks and balances. The Court in consequence has placed itself as intermediary of the political branches in the administrative process. After years of shifting between procedures and politics in administrative law, this account finally moves us forward. It joins the democratic idea that legal scholars look for with the sensible reality that positive political theorists recognize. We achieve a better understanding of the Court’s cases. In addition, we begin to see the Court’s role in the regulatory state as compliant of politics rather than adversative to politics, but still devoted to making sure of core constitutional values.


1. Edward L. M. (1935), ‘The Growth and Development of Administrative Law’

Available at:

2. Jodi L. S. (2012), ‘The Political Turn In American Administrative Law: Power, Rationality, And Reasons’ Available at:

3. Nina A. M. (2010), Disclosing “Political” Oversight of Agency Decision Making, 108 MICH.L.REV. 1127, 1130

4. Kathryn A. W. (2009), ‘Proposing a Place for Politics in Arbitrary and Capricious Review’, 119 YALE L.J. 2, 8

5. James M. L. (1938), “The Administrative Process”

6. Richard B. S. (1975), ‘The Reformation of American Administrative Law’, 88 HARV.L.REV. 1667

7. Mark S. (1992), ‘A Civic Republican Justification for the Bureaucratic State’, 105 HARV.L.REV. 1511, 1514

8. Judulang v. Holder (2011)., 132 S. Ct. 476, 483–84

9. FCC v. Fox Television Stations (2009)., Inc., 129 S. Ct. 1800, 1811

10. Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass’n of the U.S. v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 463 U.S. 29, 43

11. Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass’n of the U.S. v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. (1983), 463 U.S. 29, 34–36.

12. State Farm, 463 U.S. at 51–52

13. Cass R. S., ‘Beyond Marbury’

14. ‘The Executive’s Power To Say What the Law Is’(2006), 115 Yale L.J. 2580, 2588

[1] See FCC v. Fox Television Stations, Inc., 129 S. Ct. 1800, 1811 (2009).

[2] See Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass’n of the U.S. v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 463 U.S. 29, 34–36 (1983).

[3] See Cass R. Sunstein, Beyond Marbury:

The Executive?s Power To Say What the Law Is, 115 Yale L.J. 2580, 2588 (2006)