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Vol 21 No 11 Nov/Dec 2016

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Independent Agencies in the United States: Law, Structure, and Politics


ISBN13: 9780199812127
Published: May 2015
Publisher: Oxford University Press USA
Country of Publication: USA
Format: Hardback
Price: £88.00



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It is essential for anyone involved in law, politics, and government, as well as students of the governmental process, to comprehend the workings of the federal independent regulatory agencies of the United States.

Occasionally referred to as the "headless fourth branch of government," these agencies do not fit neatly within any of the three constitutional branches. Their members are appointed for terms that typically exceed those of the President, and they cannot be removed from office in the absence of some sort of malfeasance or misconduct. They wield enormous power over the private sector, and they have foreign analogues.

In Independent Agencies in the United States, Marshall Breger and Gary Edles provide a full-length study of the structure and workings of federal independent regulatory agencies in the US. This book focuses on traditional multi-member agencies that have a significant impact on the American economy, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the National Labor Relations Commission, and the Federal Trade Commission. This work recognizes that the changing kaleidoscope of modern life has led Congress to create idiosyncratic administrative structures consisting of independent agencies squarely within the Executive Branch, including government corporations and government-sponsored enterprises, to establish a new construct of independence to meet the changing needs of the administrative state. In the process, Breger and Edles analyze the general conflict between political accountability and agency independence.

This book also compares US with EU and certain UK independent agencies to offer a unique comparative perspective. Included is a first-of-its-kind appendix describing the powers and procedures of the more than 35 independent US federal agencies, with each supplemented by a selective bibliography of pertinent materials.

Subjects:
Other Jurisdictions , USA
Contents:
Preface

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: How the Independent Agency Developed: The Search For Expertise
A. The Interstate Commerce Commission
B. The Federal Trade Commission
C. The Federal Power Commission
D. The National Labor Relations Board
E. Federal Reserve Board: Independence as Needed
F. Observations

Chapter 3: The Modern Agency: Appointments
A. Historical Characteristics of Independence
B. Appointments
C. Observations

Chapter 4: The Modern Agency: Removal Protection As An Indicator of Independence
A. Early Congressional & Judicial Attacks on Removal by the President
B. The Historic Removal Trilogy: Myers, Humphrey's Executor & Weiner
C. The Morrison "Twist"
D. Grounds for Removal
E. Procedures for Removal
F. End of Service
G. An International Twist on the Removal Issue
H. Observations

Chapter 5: Other Indicia of Independence
A. Control of Agency Submissions to Congress1
B. Control of Litigation
C. Independent Funding Authority
D. Selection of Agency Vice Chairmen
E. Other Indicia of Independence
F. Observations

Chapter 6: Theories of Agency Independence
A. Theory of the Unitary Executive
B. Other Efforts to Centralize Effective Power
C. The Functionalist Response to the Unitary Executive
D. Political Will and Independence
E. Presidential Directive Authority
F. Observations

Chapter 7: Internal Agency Operations
A. Role of the Chairman
B. Institutional Decisionmaking

Chapter 8: Institutional Design: The Tension Between Autonomy and Accountability
A. Introduction
B. The Staying Power of Independent Regulatory Agencies
C. The Evolution of Independent Agencies: The Need for Accountability and Centralized Authority
D. The Application of Centralized Regulatory Review Authority to the Independent Agencies
E. Divided Accountability: The Separation of Policy and Adversarial Functions within Agencies
F. Split-Enforcement Model
G. Shared Regulatory Space: An Assessment
H. Unsuccessful Shift to the Single Member Option
I. Successful Shift to the Single Member Option
J. Independent Oversight Agencies
K. Independent Agencies Squarely in the Executive Branch
L. Promoting Executive Branch Autonomy and Accountability to Congress
M. Inspector Generals
N. Observations

Chapter 9: Further Along on the Continuum: Government Function and Private Enterprise
A. Public Corporations
B. Government Constraints and Constitutional Obligations on Public Corporations
C. Government Sponsored Enterprises
D. Private Action by Federal Agencies
E. Privatization
F. Observations

Chapter 10: The Independent Agency as an Institutional Art Form: Comparative Examples
A. National Independent Entities: The United Kingdom
B. The Council of Europe
C. European Coal and Steel Community
D. The Transition to a European Union
E. The European Commission Today
F. European Independent Agencies
G. Other International Administration
H. Observations

Chapter 11- CONCLUSION: The Future of the Independent Agency
A. The Changing Face of Independent Agencies
B. Centralization Theory and the Pushback Against It
C. Final Thoughts

Appendix A: Multi-Member Boards and Commissions (With Selective Bibliographies)
Appendix B: Comparing Independent Agencies
Bibliography
Index