The Legal Process from a Behavioral Perspective

By Stuart S. Nagel | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
Procedural Rules: Effects on Behavior

A few years ago, the House Government Operations Committee, under the chairmanship of Representative William L. Dawson of Illinois, undertook a survey of the organization, procedures, and practices of the federal administrative agencies.1 Eighty-three lengthy questions were sent to all the executive departments and independent agencies. It is the purpose of this chapter to analyze the responses to those questions which asked the chairmen of the independent regulatory agencies what choices their agencies had made with regard to how to exercise the discretion that the Administrative Procedure Act and other relevant statutes had given them over various procedural matters. An attempt is made to determine some of the causes and effects of the variations among the agencies. The agencies involved are the CAB, FCC, FPC, FTC, ICC, NLRB, and SEC.2


I. DISCRETION IN RULEMAKING PROCEDURE

Section 4 (a) and (b) of the Administrative Procedure Act indicate the requirements for public notification and participation. These requirements are, however, generally applicable only to substantive rulemaking.

____________________
1
STAFF OF HOUSE COMM. ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS, 85TH CONG., 1ST SESS., SURVEY AND STUDY OF ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATION, PROCEDURE AND PRACTICE IN THE FEDERAL AGENCIES (Comm. Print 1957) [hereinafter cited as the Dawson ommittee Survey ]. The writer gratefully thanks Victor Rosenblum, former counsel to the Dawson Committee, for making available to him the unanalyzed data compiled in the survey.
2
According to data available in ADMINISTRATIVE CONFERENCE OF THE U.S., STATISTICAL DATA RELATING TO ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS ( 1962), these 7 agencies heard approximately 2,781 of the 3,000 ratemaking-rulemaking proceedings of 1961. They heard 2,285 of the 2,621 disciplinary-suspension-revocation adjudications (excluding 951 suspension and revocation of seamen licenses by the Coast Guard), and they heard 5,581 of 5,955 licensing proceedings.

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