By Emily S. Bremer & Kathryn E. Kovacs. Full Text.
Few statutes have a legislative history as rich, varied, and sprawling as the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 (APA). In recent years, courts and scholars have shown increased interest in understanding this history. This is no mean feat. The APA’s history spans nearly two decades, and it includes numerous failed bills, a presidential veto, and a full panoply of congressional documents. In addition, much of the most crucial documentation underlying the APA was produced outside of Congress (by the executive branch) and even outside of government (by the American Bar Association). Identifying and locating all the relevant documents is difficult. Understanding each piece in its proper historical context is downright daunting.
The Bremer-Kovacs Collection: Historic Documents Related to the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946, now available on HeinOnline, is a comprehensive collection designed to make the APA’s history more accessible and understandable. It brings together in the same place—for the first time and in an easily navigable electronic format—all the documents that chart the path to the APA’s enactment. It also includes a suite of tools designed to assist both new and seasoned researchers in understanding the statute and its history. This Essay is part of the suite, offering a concise, narrative introduction to the Collection that will help users get started and understand the historical context and importance of the included documents.