Administrative Procedure Act

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A federal statute that governs the procedures and practices of administrative law.

§ 3 of the APA, 5 USC § 552, addresses the procedural formalities that agencies must employ when making decisions. There is a distinction made between (i) general regulations made through the process of rulemaking and (ii) case-by-case decisions made through the process of adjudication.

§ 10 of the APA, 5 USC §§ 701-706, deals with judicial review of administrative agency decisions. Reviewing courts determine whether agency officials acted in compliance with relevant federal statutes and whether the agency’s actions were “arbitrary, capricious, or an abuse of discretion.”