Operationalizing Internal Administrative Law

24 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2020 Last revised: 3 Aug 2020

See all articles by Christopher J. Walker

Christopher J. Walker

University of Michigan Law School

Rebecca Turnbull

Ohio State University (OSU), Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Students

Date Written: March 1, 2020


As part of the Hastings Law Journal’s Administrative Law in the Age of Trump Symposium, this Essay argues that administrative law should stop fixating on federal courts. While court-centric external administrative law serves an important role in administrative practice, it is far from sufficient to safeguard against agency overreach. After all, the vast majority of agency actions never make it to court. Instead, this Essay builds on recent suggestions that federal agencies can leverage internal administrative law to self-discipline against abuses of power. By surveying internal administrative law in various regulatory contexts and drawing substantially from the important work of the Administrative Conference of the United States, this Essay seeks to operationalize the concept of internal administrative law to demonstrate its critical and attainable safeguarding role for agency actions that often escape judicial review.

Keywords: internal administrative law, administrative law, judicial review, agency guidance, enforcement, rulemaking, agency adjudication, Chevron deference

Suggested Citation

Walker, Christopher J. and Turnbull, Rebecca, Operationalizing Internal Administrative Law (March 1, 2020). Hastings Law Journal, Vol. 71, pp. 1225-1247, 2020, Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 531, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3546875

Christopher J. Walker (Contact Author)

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.chrisjwalker.com

Rebecca Turnbull

Ohio State University (OSU), Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Students ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

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