Georgia Law Review, Vol. 40, No. 4 (Summer 2006), pp. 1109-1170


This Article discusses the place of administrative agencies under the Georgia Constitution. The rules of the Georgia Supreme Court on these issues, like the comparable rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court, make excellent reading for anyone interested in Georgia law, government, politics, and history. Most of the decisions surveyed in this Article are correct, but not necessarily for the reasons given by the Georgia Supreme Court. Some of the opinions offer comprehensive treatises on sections of the Georgia Constitution and aspects of administrative law, while others reach conclusions without much explanation. Some results are at odds with prior decisions that are clearly or adequately distinguished. Sometimes the Georgia Supreme Court plays loose with how it categorizes or defines an agency's authority, and sometimes the court seems to defer too much to the General Assembly. These inconsistencies and tensions are inevitable given the Georgia Constitution's clear separation of powers provision and the performance of adjudicatory, legislative, and executive functions by many agencies, along with their administrative and ministerial duties. Of course, the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions regarding the place of administrative agencies under the U.S. Constitution have likewise defined administrative functions loosely, are sometimes inconsistent, and often reflect a similar tension between the language of the Constitution and a recognition of the many powers exercised by modern administrative agencies.