Federal Administrative Procedure Sourcebook

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The fifth edition of the Federal Administrative Procedure Sourcebook, like its four predecessors, has been compiled as a basic introduction and reference book on major federal procedural statutes. The text of each statute is provided, along with explanatory material, legislative history, related guidance documents, sources of additional relevant information, and a bibliography.

The Sourcebook is designed to be useful for both lawyers and non-lawyers at federal agencies and for anyone who needs to know more about any of the key federal procedural statutes. While this volume is designed to be a convenient source of statutory, regulatory, and other materials, we emphasize that the commentary is not intended to be a substitute for legal research or for legal counsel. Readers with specific questions may have to consult the statute directly, as well as judicial opinions, legislative history, or, where appropriate, the lead agency or their own attorney.

Table of Contents

  1. Administrative Procedure Act
    1. Citations
    2. Overview
    3. Legislative History
    4. Source Note
    5. Bibliography
      1. Act
      2. U.S. Department of Justice Attorney General’s Manual on the Administrative Procedure Act
  2. Judicial Review of Agency Action
    1. Citations
    2. Overview
    3. Bibliography
    4. Appendix
    5. Judicial Review
  3. Congressional Review of Agency Rulemaking

Understanding the structure of the Sourcebook

Though the Sourcebook’s organization is largely self-evident, a few preliminary comments may be valuable. These notes follow the format of most chapters:

  • Statutory Citations. This section includes U.S. Code, Public Law, and Statutes-at-Large citations, including significant amendments.
  • Lead Agency. This designation is a loose one, because a “lead” agency’s role may vary from informal consulting and data collection to issuance of binding regulations, from occasional technical guidance to regular oversight of specific activities. The Overview section usually elaborates on the lead agency’s role.
  • Overview. This section summarizes the content of the statute and its applicability. Any observations or conclusions represent only the judgment of the editors.
  • Bibliography. The lists presented are not intended to be exhaustive, though we have tried to include most major works and some other useful references in the Bibliography or accompanying Source Note.
  • Statutory Texts. The texts are taken from the U.S. Code and reflect amendments through September 2015. Notes, cross-references, and the like have generally not been included except where particularly useful.

Note on the Administrative Conference and ACUS Materials.

ACUS is an independent federal agency in the executive branch, established in 1968 to advise and assist regulatory agencies and the Congress on administrative law and procedure. ACUS’s activities were curtailed in October 1995 as a result of the decision of the Appropriations Committees of the 104th Congress to terminate funding for its operations, see the Symposium devoted to ACUS in 30.

ARIZONA STATE LAW JOURNAL 1-204 (Spring 1998). However, ACUS was reauthorized and re-established in 2010, and its activities continue today. See its home page, www.acus.gov.

ACUS recommendations and the reports relating to them were published by the Government Printing Office in the Recommendations and Reports of the Administrative Conference series (cited as ACUS in the Bibliography (e.g., 2 ACUS 119 or 1980 ACUS 313)).

This series appeared as four multi-year compilations from 1968 to 1977, and annually thereafter through 1995. The ACUS reports from 2010 to the present are available on ACUS’s website. Conference recommendations were, upon adoption, published in the Federal Register and, until 1993, compiled annually in volume one of the Code of Federal Regulations. Now they continue to be published in the Federal Register and are also available on the ACUS website. Bibliographies of all ACUS’s published works are also available on the website.