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Delegating Legislative Powers: Rules by Administrative Agencies

15 January, 2016 - 09:29

Congress has found it necessary and useful to create government agencies to administer various laws (see Administrative Law ). The Constitution does not expressly provide for administrative agencies, but the US Supreme Court has upheld the delegation of power to create federal agencies.

Examples of administrative agencies would include the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

It is important to note that Congress does not have unlimited authority to delegate its lawmaking powers to an agency. It must delegate its authority with some guidelines for the agency and cannot altogether avoid its constitutional responsibilities (see Administrative Law ).

Agencies propose rules in the Federal Register, published each working day of the year. Rules that are formally adopted are published in the Code of Federal Regulations, or CFR, available online at