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The Administrative Procedure Act ("APA") is a framework statute, not a complete code. Its central provisions are rather spare, and a number of important questions are not covered at all. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the judicial gloss on the APA has taken on a large significance over time. It should also come as no surprise that this interpretative mantle has assumed a different shape with different generations of judges. In this respect, our experience with the APA parallels that with the Constitution. Occasionally there is a feint in the direction of enforcing the "original understanding" of the APA. But the dominant trend has been toward the creation of a kind of common law of administrative procedure, with each generation of judges reworking the law in accordance with its perception of the "felt necessities of the time."


Administrative Law | Agency | Law