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Administrative Law and Procedure

Due Process Of Law

The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments guarantee that the federal government and the state governments, respectively, will not deprive a person of his or her life, liberty, or property without DUE PROCESS OF LAW. An administrative agency thus may not deprive anyone of life, liberty, or property without a reasonable opportunity, appropriate under the circumstances, to challenge the agency's action. People must be given fair warning of the limits that an agency will place on their actions. Federal courts routinely uphold very broad delegations of authority. When reviewing administrative agency actions, courts ask whether the agency afforded those under its jurisdiction due process of law as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

The U.S. Supreme Court has held it improper for a state agency to deny WELFARE benefits to applicants who meet the conditions for entitlement to those benefits as defined by the legislature. The state must afford due process (in these cases, an oral hearing) before it can terminate benefits (Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. 254, 90 S. Ct. 1011, 25 L. Ed. 2d 287 [1970]). Likewise, when a state grants all children the right to attend public schools, and establishes rules specifying the grounds for suspension, it cannot suspend a given student for alleged misconduct without affording the student at least a limited prior hearing (Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565, 95 S. Ct. 729, 42 L. Ed. 2d 725 [1975]).

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Additional voluntary contribution (AVC) to AirspaceAdministrative Law and Procedure - Separation Of Powers, Delegation Of Authority, Due Process Of Law, Political Controls Over Agency Action—legislative And Executive Oversight