Should Review Doctrine Be Simplified or Restated?

David Zaring, Reasonable Agencies, 96 Va. L. Rev. 2317 (2010). Richard Pierce David Zaring first makes two contributions to the growing empirical literature on judicial review of agency actions and then suggests a dramatic change in doctrine in light of his findings. Based on a study of 226 cases, Zaring found that courts uphold about 70% of agency actions when they apply either the substantial evidence test or the arbitrary and capricious test to agency findings of fact. He then combined his study with over a dozen other empirical studies of judicial review of agency actions to create a meta study of 5081 cases. In his meta study, Zaring found that courts at all levels uphold about 70% of agency actions no matter what doctrine a court applies. Since choice of review doctrine has no apparent effect on the outcome of a case in which a court reviews an agency action, Zaring argued that courts should simplify review doctrine by replacing the six tests courts now apply with a single simple test-a court should uphold any reasonable agency action. Continue reading "Should Review Doctrine Be Simplified or Restated?"

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