The Role of the ALJ

The Role of the ALJ

Learn about various rules ensuring the independence and neutrality of ALJ's, such as the separation-of-functions provision and prohibitions on ex parte communications.


The APA permits the agency itself, which is to say the agency head, to preside at the reception of evidence and render a decision. However, as a practical matter, almost all agency adjudications are delegated to administrative-law judges, or ALJs, who preside over the adjudicatory hearing. ALJs were formerly called hearing examiners.

I.               ALJs versus Article III Judges

ALJs function like federal trial judges in...