Administrative Judges and Decisional Independence
ALJ - Administrative Law Judge Civil Service protections Cannot be assigned other duties - no cleaning the toilet if the Secretary does not like your rulings Can have performance goals Cannot have decisional quotas
AJs - Administrative Judges Just regular employees with no special protections Subject to more supervision Can do many other jobs Critical in small agencies who do not have enough adjudications to justify a full time ALJ corp ALJs would like to have AJs eliminated
Grant v. Shalala What were the causes of the plaintiff’s disability? What did the ALJ rule? What was the "secondary gain" the ALJ was criticized for mentioning?
The Bias Claim What did plaintiff claim was the ALJ's bias? Why might an ALJ develop this attitude? Is this an argument for an ALJ corps.? What did the agency do to investigate her complaint? Why did the appeals court reject the right to do discovery?
The Central Panel Issue How is a central panel like the Federal judiciary? What are the pros and cons of a central pool of administrative law judges? How might a central pool have its own bias? What about limiting the right of the agency to appeal the independent ALJ's decision?
Insurance Commission How is the insurance commissioner selected? Why is he selected this way? Why is this important in a separation of powers argument? Has there been trouble in the office?
Division of Administrative Law When was this created? Which part of the executive branch controls the agency? What were the criteria for being an ALJ when the agency was formed? Does this matter? Were the decisions binding on the agencies?
How was the law changed in 1999? How did the change affect the agency's ability to set policy? How does this shift the balance of power between the different parts of the executive branch? What is the political control over ALJs?
Affect on the Courts Does the law say that the courts cannot review ALJ decisions? Which ALJ decisions escape the reach of the courts? Why? What is the separation of powers issue?
The District Court Opinion Putting aside the law, what really seemed to annoy the judge about the ALJs? What do you think about this? What did the District Court rule about the separation of powers issues?
Bias in Administrative Decisionmaking Why is the chance for bias greater than with Article III judges? Why do we worry less about bias in agency adjudications? This is critical to understanding the approach How does the rule of necessity and Matthews v. Eldridge figure in the analysis? How would you analyze the effect of the current LA system on bias and its remedies?