Agency as Principal

90 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2014

See all articles by Brigham Daniels

Brigham Daniels

University of Utah College of Law

Date Written: April 1, 2014


A presumption of a principal-agent relationship between the elected branches and the bureaucracy permeates administrative law and scholarship. This typical framework consistently casts agencies as agents, never principals. This Article challenges that assumption and explores the ways in which agencies can act as principals to the elected branches. Agencies, in fact, commonly manipulate the elected branches. The challenge posed by the Article to the typical understanding of the relationship between agencies and the elected branches not only provides a more nuanced understanding of the modern administrative state but also raises serious questions about administrative law, which regularly employs this same faulty assumption.

Suggested Citation

Daniels, Brigham, Agency as Principal (April 1, 2014). Georgia Law Review, Vol. 48, 2014, Available at SSRN:

Brigham Daniels (Contact Author)

University of Utah College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

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