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16 Queen's Law Journal 179 (1991)


This paper will take a contextual approach to American administrative law. It will examine the historic context and the legal significance of certain administrative law doctrines and approaches. In so doing, it will examine three distinct eras of administrative law: (1) the New Deal-A.PA., which I date from 1929 to 1959; (2) the environmental era which I date from 1960 to 1980; and (3) the global era of administrative law, whose beginnings I somewhat arbitrarily mark as 1980. This takes us to the present and the foreseeable future.' I do not mean to imply that these eras are so distinct that there is little overlap between and among them. Nor do I wish to imply that somehow one effectively and fully supplants another. Quite the contrary;
they are cumulative. Most of the law developed in each forms the legal framework and provides the legal rhetoric for the developments of the next. Law evolves by making use of the past; like time, it moves "backwards from a receding past into an unknown future."2 These three eras of admin- istrative law thus represent three layers of law that interact with one another,
often drawing on the legal approaches and legal rhetoric of the past, but also transforming them in their application to new problems and situations.

I will link interpretive and substantive trends in administrative law with trends in constitutional law. In particular, I will examine two facets of con- stitutional and administrative law. First, I will analyze the overall constitu- tional structure within which administrative agencies must fit and act; this will be followed by a comparison of the procedural demands of the four- teenth amendment to our Constitution with those required by the relevant procedural statutes of each era. Closely related to this analysis will be the role that courts play in interpreting both the constitution and the relevant statutes involved.