Department of Justice Views on the Bumpers Amendment to the Administrative Procedure Act

Headnotes: 

The following letter to the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, initially drafted in the Office of Legal Counsel at the request of the Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs, presents the Department of Justice’s views on amendments to the Administrative Procedure Act’s (APA’s) provisions for judicial review of agency action proposed by Senator Bumpers. In essence, the so-called Bumpers amendment sought to achieve greater congressional control over federal agency actions by giving the federal courts broad and relatively undefined new p owers in reviewing agency rules. The letter points out that the proposed amendments to the APA would transfer to the federal courts responsibility for making policy choices now made by agencies, and that they would disrupt the regulatory process in major and unforeseeable ways.

Updated July 9, 2014