Politics, Institutions and Administrative Procedure: What Exactly Do We Know from the Empirical Study of State-Level Apas, and What More Can We Learn?
22 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2006
Empirical research to date on state-level administrative procedure acts (SLAPAs) is inconclusive regarding when states will adopt and amend SLAPAs. However, there is reason for optimism that more comprehensive empirical study could shed light on the McNollgast hypothesis and its variations - allowing researchers to better understand the relationship between commitments, politics, and administrative procedure. This will require the assembly of much more exhaustive and comprehensive data than has previously been collected. Once data is assembled, empirical study could shed light on: a) the extent to which administrative procedures are neutral or whether they are likely to have a partisan bias; b) the effects of divided government on the adoption of administrative procedures; c) the influences of the length (or durability) of procedural commitments in SLAPAs; and d) the extent to which model statutes are effective in minimizing partisan influence in the adoption and amendment of SLAPAs. This Essay addresses how the collection and analysis of such data might proceed, and how such analysis could open up possibilities for important future research, including research on the effects of administrative procedure reforms in states. The Essay also argues that there are benefits to having administrative lawyers participate with social scientists in the empirical enterprise of examining SLAPAs.
Keywords: Administrative Procedure, States, Legislation. Political Control, Empirical Study
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