The independent agency has been around for 100 years now, but we are still trying to understand how it best relates to the administration of government. Its popularity as an organizational mechanism is more a function of competing political forces within the legislative and executive branches than of any systematic analysis of its effectiveness. Yet one can discern reasons why independent agencies might be superior mechanisms for administering government programs if their structure and purpose are analyzed functionally. This essay proposes to do that and, in the process, reach some conclusions about both the potential and the limits of the independent agency as a vehicle for making government decisions.
1988 Duke Law Journal 257-279
Verkuil, Paul R., "The Purposes and Limits of Independent Agencies" (1988). Faculty Publications. 1029.