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Constitutional Right to Judicial Review

Judicial review is the process by which courts examine the actions of the legislative, executive, and administrative wings of government and determine if such actions are consistent with the applicable constitution.  Sometimes, judicial review of certain elements of an administrative action becomes a matter of constitutional necessity.

Judicial review of an administrative action is sometimes concerned with the question of arbitrariness.  On this ground, courts will assume jurisdiction even when there is no statutory authorization for a judicial appeal.  However, there is an inherent right of appeal from orders of administrative agencies where constitutional rights are involved.[i] Under such circumstances, courts provide relief or review even though there is no statute which specifically provides for such relief or review.

The concern for due process often arises.  Due process requires that, if a determination made in an administrative proceeding has any critical role to play in the subsequent imposition of a criminal sanctions, then there must be some meaningful review of that administrative proceeding.[ii] However, if a statute does not provide any mechanism for appeal from an agency decision, it will not violate any due process rights.

In the absence of constitutional or statutory authority, there is no inherent right to appeal from an administrative agency’s order. [iii]

[i] American Beauty Homes Corp. v. Louisville & Jefferson County Planning & Zoning Com., 379 S.W.2d 450 (Ky. 1964)

[ii] Touby v. United States, 500 U.S. 160 (U.S. 1991)

[iii] Springfield Fireworks, Inc. v. Ohio DOC, 2003 Ohio 6940 (Ohio Ct. App., Franklin County Dec. 18, 2003)

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