Charting the New Landscape of Administrative Adjudication

8 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2020 Last revised: 11 May 2020

Date Written: March 27, 2020


The Duke Law Journal’s 50th Annual Administrative Law Symposium, entitled Charting the New Landscape of Administrative Adjudication Symposium, arrives at a crucial time. Indeed, in many ways, the Symposium returns us to the beginning of the modern administrative state and the first years of the Duke Law Journal’s annual administrative law symposium. After all, the founders of the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) of 1946 were primarily concerned with administrative adjudication. That continued to be the case for two decades after the APA’s enactment. Then, in the 1960s and 1970s, courts, scholars, and policymakers turned their attention to rulemaking—perhaps viewing it as a more democratic and legitimate mode of administration. In the past few years, however, administrative adjudication has begun to receive renewed attention—and scrutiny. The Supreme Court has recently considered constitutional questions regarding the appointment of ALJs (Lucia v. SEC) and the limits of agency adjudication under Article III (Oil States v. Greene Energy). In response to Lucia v. SEC, the president issued an executive order that radically alters the process for selecting and appointing ALJs, and DOJ has issued similar guidance to federal agencies. Several large-scale studies of agency adjudicators and adjudicative procedures have been published. These studies have greatly informed an increasingly robust debate about the current landscape and future of administrative adjudication. This debate has high stakes for matters of national concern, most notably in the areas of patent law and immigration. This Introduction surveys how the contributions to this Symposium nicely capture and advance the debate.

Keywords: adjudication, administrative law, immigration, patent adjudication

Suggested Citation

Walker, Christopher J., Charting the New Landscape of Administrative Adjudication (March 27, 2020). Duke Law Journal, Vol. 69, pp. 1687-1694, 2020, Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 538, Available at SSRN:

Christopher J. Walker (Contact Author)

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

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


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