William Funk

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Although the enactment of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) was intended to establish a uniform set of procedures applicable to adjudications "required by statute to be determined on the record after opportunity for an agency hearing," agencies have long sought to avoid those procedures, and, in particular, Administrative Law Judges, by substituting informal, non-APA adjudications. Over time, the courts have accelerated this substitution through a misapplication of three Supreme Court opinions. This article describes the original understanding of the APA and how that original understanding has been eroded over the years. The article then asks whether this is a problem that needs fixing or is a pragmatic adaptation of the original understanding. Concluding that it is a problem, the article identifies different ways the problem might be addressed.