Are administrative law judges constitutional?

Are administrative law judges constitutional?

ALJs are Article I judges under the United States Constitution in American administrative law. As a result, they do not have complete judicial authority—that is, power over life, liberty, and property. However, they do have some very broad discretion in making decisions.

They can make recommendations to an agency head or other officer above them in the chain of command. They can also issue subpoenas and take other actions to obtain information for their cases. ALJs can also rule on their own motions if they think it will help them reach a decision more quickly. However, they are not allowed to decide legal issues before them. That is the job of the agency head or other officer.

Additionally, ALJs can choose which case to hear and can reject cases that aren't timely filed with the appropriate agency. However, they cannot refuse to hear cases based on their merits. If an agency head or other officer rejects a case, then another body will have to review it before any further action can be taken.

Finally, ALJs can award up to $75,000 in damages. This can include compensation for lost wages and benefits, medical expenses, and other costs related to an injury. However, they cannot award money from the government against itself.

How are administrative law judges selected?

The Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 governs the appointment of ALJs (APA). To be appointed as an ALJ, attorneys must pass a four-hour written test and an oral examination in front of a panel. The ALJ appointment procedure is the only one in the United States that is based on merit. The APA requires that all ALJs be independent from any agency that might be involved in their decisions.

ALJs are responsible for making initial determinations about complaints filed with the MSPB. These determinations may result in remands to an agency for additional evidence to be taken, or they may result in orders being issued by the ALJ. Orders are usually final decisions by the MSPB that can be appealed to the Board or to federal courts. Remands are orders directing an agency to conduct further proceedings necessary to resolve issues raised by the complaint.

An ALJ's salary is set by statute. However, due to financial constraints, annual appropriations by Congress have the potential to reduce an ALJ's salary. An ALJ can seek compensation beyond his or her annual salary through the use of "special payments." Special payments are made at times when an ALJ's services are particularly needed at the Department of Labor or when there is a shortage of employees within the MSPB. Examples of special payments include travel expenses, library privileges, and computer research fees.

What are examples of administrative laws?

The regulation and functioning of the Social Security Administration, as well as the administration of payments to the people, are examples of administrative law... ALJs are used by state authorities such as the departments of:

  • Revenue.
  • Consumer affairs.
  • Health services.
  • Environmental conservation.
  • Labor.

What does the constitution say about judges serving for life?

"The judges shall keep their posts during good behavior," which has been read as meaning a judge might serve indefinitely. Section 1 further specifies that the pay of judges cannot be lowered while they are in office. The jurisdiction of US federal courts is addressed in Article III, Section 2, Clause 1 of the US Constitution. This section states that "Judges in any court of the United States shall be appointed to hold their offices during good behavior."

In practice, few judges actually serve for life; instead, they can be removed from office through impeachment or resignation. The last president to be impeached was Bill Clinton in 1999. In the case of Clinton, his trial took place in the Senate, where members could vote him out of office if they decided so. For other officials, removal from office requires filing charges against them and then going before an impartial jury to be tried for their crimes. If convicted, they may be sentenced to imprisonment or death. Judges can also resign by stating that they will not stand for re-election again. However, once they do so, they can never again sit on the bench. President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia was rejected by Republicans in control of the Senate. As such, no new justice has been confirmed by Congress since 2005 when Chief Justice John Roberts was nominated by President Bush.

About Article Author

Kathleen Hoyt

Kathleen Hoyt is a writer and researcher who has published on topics such as citizenship, humanities and immigration. She also has extensive knowledge of politics and law. Kathleen is an avid reader with a curiosity for the world around her.

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