In early October 1995, Walter Gellhorn helped to open a National Archives display commemorating the fiftieth birthday of the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA"). That Act had begun to take shape just prior to World War II, when Gellhorn had directed the Attorney General's Committee on Administrative Procedure. Created in response to a political spasm of legislative activity that produced a "reform" bill President Roosevelt vetoed, Gellhorn's committee engaged in a thorough and careful survey of administrative agencies and their procedures. In the end, the committee produced twenty-seven monographs describing the variety of decision-making processes employed by the agencies and a summary report, that stand as classics of administrative law scholarship. Works of close observation, not theoretical speculation, these reports won Gellhorn Harvard's coveted Henderson Prize and underlay the APA's eventual shape and adoption. His presence at the commemoration of the APA, then, was a fitting honor.
Peter L. Strauss,
Changing Times: The APA at Fifty,
U. Chi. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/428