Politics 117a Fall 2001

Midterm Examination

The examination contains three cases. I ask you to analyze and compare them. Always keep in mind the Londoner v. Denver/Bimetallic v. Colorado paradigm as you give your answer.

Vermont Yankee v. Natural Resources Defense Council (1978), P. 243.

United States v. Florida East Coast Railway Co. (1973), p. 339.

Seacoast Anti-Polution League v. Costle (1st Cir., 1978), p. 361.

Compare Florida East Coast, Vermont Yankee, and Seacoast. Justice Rehnquist rendered the opinions in Florida and Vermont Yankee that interpreted textually the APA #553 informal rulemaking requirements. Note the statutory requirement in the Interstate Commerce Act authorizing the ICC to act only "after [a] hearing." Contrast Justice Rehnquist's statutory interpretation with that of the district court at p. 344 in the Florida East Coast case, and with the circuit court's opinion in Vermont Yankee.

The Supreme Court denied certiorari in the Seacoast case. Why do you think the Court by denying cert in Seacoast allowed the circuit court to impose the APA's formal hearing requirements? How did the circuit court reason in Seacoast that ##544, 556, and 557 of the APA governed the case even though the statute did not textually require a hearing on the record? In fact the statute's "public hearing" requirement would seem to imply more a town meeting type of procedure than a formal hearing on the record. Is the circuit court's reasoning in accord with Rehnquist's Florida East Coast and Vermont Yankee opinions?