Limitations on Rulemaking and Legal Effects of Agency Rules
Learn about limitations on agencies' ability to make rules, such as the ultra vires doctrine, retroactivity, statutory limitations, bias, ex parte contacts, and undue influence, and the legal effect of those rules
An agency’s ability to make rules is limited to the powers delegated to them by law. Additionally, agencies can’t make rules in a manner that's substantively or procedurally unfair.
I. Ultra Vires
The APA authorizes courts to evaluate whether an agency is acting, quote “in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations,” unquote. The phrase ultra vires is used to describe action that is outside of an entity’s lawful authority. The extent of an agency’s powers is defined in the...