Administrative law expert Levin testifies before congressional committee

Administrative law expert Ronald M. Levin, JD, recently was invited to testify before Congress on concerns about the proposed Regulatory Accountability Act.

Levin, the William R. Orthwein Distinguished Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis, has taught and written about administrative law for more than 30 years.


He testified in July before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law. The Judiciary Committee endorsed the legislation, H.R. 2122, on July 24, sending it to the full House for consideration.

But Levin warned legislators to be cautious about this package of proposals to amend the Administrative Procedure Act, which he said has been generally successful.

“Many students of administrative law believe that the rulemaking process is already too cumbersome, and the bill would aggravate that situation enormously,” he said.

Levin’s testimony addressed what he believes are several problem areas in the bill that warrant re-examination:

• The bill would require federal agencies to address a variety of “considerations” in every rulemaking proceeding, including an elaborate analysis of a proposed rule’s costs and benefits, and these analytical requirements would greatly complicate the rulemaking process;

• The bill contains “supermandates” that would override existing law, and these provisions are too inflexible and would encourage needless litigation;

• The bill requires extensive use of formal rulemaking, a process that largely has been abandoned as obsolete; and

• The bill’s judicial review provisions would greatly expand the courts’ role in ways that are at odds with case law and traditional concepts of the role of the judiciary.

To watch Levin’s testimony or review his written comments in detail, visit here.