The Constitution and the Administrative State

Primary Task Response: Within the Discussion Board area, write 400–600 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas.


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In 1984, the United States Supreme Court decided to hear Chevron U.S.A v. National Resources Defense Council. The landmark decision of the court in this case went on to define the powers, responsibilities, and limitations of administrative agencies in the U.S. In this case, the court was confronted with what powers to grant an executive-branch agency such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) when reviewing statutes (laws) passed by Congress. Similar other cases and courts have also decided how much power administrative agencies should possess and how this power should be exercised (examples include Quakers Oats Co. v. Cedar Rapids Human Rights Com and Sheehan v. Altschuler).

Action Items

Read one of the cases above or find one of your own that addresses the powers of the administrative agencies in the federal government.
Draft a short summary of the following elements (no more than 600 words):
What were the facts in the case? Who were the parties involved?
What question was the court trying to answer? What did each party want in the lawsuit?
What was the result? How did the court answer the question?
Why did the court answer the question the way they did? What was their rationale?
What does the result in the case say about the power of administrative agencies?
How does it limit (or not limit) their discretion?
Based on when the case was decided, have agencies gained more power or lost power?

For assistance with your assignment, please use your text, Web resources, and all course materials.


Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. NRDC, 467 U.S. 837 (1984)

Quaker Oats Co. v. Cedar Rapids Hum. R. Com’n, 268 N.W.2d 862 (1978)

Sheehan v. Altschuler, 148 Conn. 517 (1961)

Responses to Other Students: Respond to at least 2 of your fellow classmates with at least a 100-word reply about their Primary Task Response regarding items you found to be compelling and enlightening. To help you with your discussion, engage them in discussion about their analysis of the case they chose.

The Constitution and the Administrative State

Sheehan v. Altschuler

Angela Green

Instructor: Lydia Portee

Colorado Technical University Online

May 28, 2020

Sheehan v. Altschuler

· What were the facts in the case? Who were the parties involved?

The case between Sheehan vs. Altschuler. In this case, there is a great controversy in the attempt to define the relationships between power, responsibility, and the various limitations of administrative agencies within the United States. The main facts of this case are that the available plaintiffs, in this case, are taxpayers, and they are probably from the sides of West Heaven. This was with the aid of the George Self (E.D.N.Y., 2019). There is a sense of power and responsibility shown through owning two types of property around the areas that have been covered or instead boarded on the Northern areas by the main street extensions. The extensions were made further to the east by the relevant New Heaven Harbors.

· What question was the Court trying to answer? What did each party want in the lawsuit?

Many questions trigger the conscience of the operations and the activities related to power, responsibility, and limitations of agency in this between Sheehan and Altschuler (E.D.N.Y., 2020). However, the most predominant question, in this case, was to find out whether the redevelopment form of the agency was responsible for authorizing a contract to sell the available land that was within the redevelopment surroundings relating to the developer who was Arthur. Through evaluations and further contingencies of these contracts, considerations towards the sale of the land by the planning commission were officially approved with the aid of the RTM recites.

· What was the result? How did the Court answer the question?

The question led to many conflicts of interest, and all the plaintiffs tried their best to come out with the best approach. All the plaintiffs were so much interested in the response that the Court will come out within consideration to the matter of land ownership and sales (E.D.N.Y., 2020). The courts ruled that since the issue was a matter of powers and responsibility, it was appropriate to have it that the owners of the family or the plaintiffs to have a consideration over who should get what portion of land and in case there was still a more profound conflict of interest, the best option was to have an equal share of the property between the plaintiffs.

· Why did the Court answer the question the way they did? What was their rationale?

The courts sat on the decision they made simply because they were trying to be considerate and be in a position to distribute the ownership equally (Marchesi, 2018). It was at its level best to make sure that they apply their most professional modes of legalization to come up with a concrete decision and conclusion to make sure they give out nothing but their best. The rationale employed in coming up to these conclusions was that in case the land was not professionally accredited. The case will never be solved, and to some point, some parties will have to lose while others will benefit, which was unethical.

· What does the result in the case say about the power of administrative agencies?

· How does it limit (or no limit) their discretion?

The results from the case have divergent views and understanding of the power of administrative agencies (Marchesi, 2018). The results that came about by the courts never led to much destruction or limits. Instead, it fastened the discretions of the regulatory agencies since they were able to learn from their past and apply what they were experiencing in real life.

· Based on when the case was decided, have agencies gained more power or lost power?

From the time the case was decided, the agencies have gained much more power since they were able to diversify their opinions and versions and teach new ideas and strategies on how well to handle their operations and cases (Marchesi, 2018).


Marchesi v. BOARD OF SELECTMEN OF LYME, 181 A.3d 531, 328 Conn. 615 (2018).



A. Dawny Brotzman


Quaker Oats Company v. Cedar Rapids Human Resources Commission

Case Facts: (Justia, n.d.)

Quaker Oats Company, appellee, v. Cedar Rapids Human Rights Commission, appellant.

Cedar Rapids HRC, on behalf of Sandra K. Tennyson, is represented by R. Turner, Attorney General; S. Steele, Assistant Attorney General; D. McGuire, City Attorney.
Quaker Oats Co. is represented by Shuttleworth & Ingersoll Law Firm.
Sandra K. Tennyson, a Quaker Oats employee, filed a complaint with the Cedar Rapids Human Rights Commission (HRC) claiming her denial of disability benefits constituted gender discrimination as defined in the Cedar Rapids City Ordinance, 54-74 (Chapter 69 of Municipal Code) and to chapter 601A.6 of the Iowa Code.

Tennyson was advised by her physician to abort her pregnancy and to undergo a tubal procedure to prevent further pregnancies. This put her out of work for almost five weeks. She was denied disability benefits by her employer because their insurance plan excludes coverage for “disabilities due to pregnancy or disorders resulting therefrom”.

Question Being Addressed and Party’s Requests:

Does the short-term disability income plan for Quaker Oats employees illegally violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by discriminating against gender by excluding pregnancy related disabilities?

The Cedar Rapids HRC, on behalf of Quaker Oats employee, wants a class action relief to all women who took pregnancy related disability leave from July 3, 1973 to the current date based on the fact that excluding pregnancy related disability benefits only effect women. They are also requesting compensation for the time Sandra Tennyson was unable to work due to pregnancy complications.

Quaker Oats Co. is petitioning a review of the order, claiming their short-term disability plan does not discriminate on the bases of sex and should not have to pay compensation.

The Court’s Answer and Results:

The trial court sided with Quaker Oats because the denial of benefits was not in violation of the Iowa Civil Rights Act or the Cedar Rapids Human Rights Ordinance.

Court’s Rationale:

According to the Cedar Rapids Ordinance, chapter 69.11 on unfair employment practices, states that discrimination of race, color, religion, origin, or sex is based on employment. It does not state that insurance policies must include pregnancy-related disabilities. The court illustrated the case of General Electric v. Gilbert in which the Supreme Court decided on both constitutional grounds and statutory construction that provisions similar to this case were not sex discrimination.

Power of Administrative Agencies:

This case demonstrates just how limited the powers of governmental agencies are. They focus on specific issues that require knowledge (US Legal, n.d.). I believe now, 42 years later, the administrative agencies have more power because most companies today include pregnancy related disabilities in their short-term plans.


Justia. (n.d.). Quaker Oats Co. v. Cedar Rapids Hum. R. Com’n. Retrieved from

US Legal. (n.d.). Administrative Agencies. Retrieved from

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