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Right To Judicial Review of Federal Agency Decisions

Administrative acts are reviewable by courts.  There is a strong presumption that Congress intends judicial review of administrative actions.  Judicial review is denied only when it is proved by clear and cogent evidence that the relevant statute has barred the review.  Judicial review is the rule and nonreviewability is the exception.  The Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) permits judicial review of agency actions under two circumstances:

  • agency action that are reviewable by statute; and
  • final agency action for which there is no other adequate remedy in a court.

Judicial review of a final agency action will not be denied unless there is reason to believe that Congress intended denial..  There should be clear and cogent evidence to deny.[i]

The presumption favoring judicial review like any other presumptions can be overcome by specific language indicating Congress intent.  Congressional intent to overcome the presumption can be inferred from the judicial history of a statute.  Judicial review of an issue is impliedly precluded when the statute itself provides an alternate mechanism for resolving the issue.

The necessity of judicial review arises:

  • when a person suffers legal wrong because of agency action, or
  • when a person is adversely affected or aggrieved by agency action.

When there is substantial doubt as to Congressional intent, general presumption favoring judicial review is preferred.

[i]           Rusk v. Cort, 369 U.S. 367 (U.S. 1962)

Inside Right To Judicial Review of Federal Agency Decisions