Bias in Regulatory Administration

86 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2019

Date Written: August 1, 2019


The requirement of an objective, open-minded agency decisionmaker lies at the core of our administrative law scheme. And yet the ways in which "bias" doctrine plays out reflects a muddled and frequently overbearing approach to solving important problems in regulatory administration. This article takes a close look at the architecture of bias doctrine in administrative law, exploring doctrinal issues and also the theoretical underpinnings of the persistent, yet incorrigible, principle of neutrality in agency adjudication and rulemaking. Exploring these issues opens up promising new lines of inquiry about administrative law and regulatory decisionmaking more generally. Given the predicament of trust and discretion at the heart of debates over the scope and purposes of regulatory administration, how do the variegated bias doctrines help or hinder our rule of law and social welfare goals?

Keywords: Bias

JEL Classification: K10, K30

Suggested Citation

Rodriguez, Daniel B., Bias in Regulatory Administration (August 1, 2019). Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 19-14 (2019). Available at SSRN: or

Daniel B. Rodriguez (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics