Final, But Often Fallible: Recognizing Problems with Alj Finality
25 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2004
This Article addresses how the legally final (i.e., immediately appealable) status of Administrative Law Judge decisions in many state systems of administrative governance with central panels (among them Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, and South Carolina) presents accountability problems. Especially given these problems, where reviewing courts defer to ALJ final orders on issues of law and policy, fundamental administrative law goals and values are undermined. Standards of review provide state courts with a way of restoring accountability. Specifically, when reviewing legally final ALJ orders, reviewing courts could restore accountability by heightening the deference they give to the agency's legal and policy positions - placing special weight on agency appellate briefs and giving little or no deference to the ALJ on these issues.
Keywords: Judicial Review, administrative law, central panels, state administrative procedure
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