Studying Administrative Law: A Methodology for, and Report on, New Empirical Research

E. Donald Elliott, Yale Law School


This article reports on an empirical study of some broad trends in
federal administrative law that was recently concluded. Although
the complete study is published elsewhere, we also report our findings
here for two reasons. First, we hope to broaden the audience for this
research, especially among practicing administrative lawyers. We believe
that the study provides some important and intriguing new perspectives
on a number of issues: the changing style of appellate decisions
in administrative law; the evolution of administrative law since the mid-
1960s; the patterns of remands to administrative agencies; and the
effects of the Supreme Court's Chevron decision. Second, we wish to
call particular attention to the methodology of our study in the hope
that other researchers will use it to probe additional questions of interest
to administrative lawyers and scholars.