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Quasi-legislative Power

AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

Last updated 22 Mar 2021

Quasi-legislative power is the ability for agencies to enact rules and regulations despite that agency not possessing the constitutional ability to do so. However, despite this seemingly immense power, the rules and regulations are often enacted at the discretion of law makers, as supreme legislative power remains with Congress.

In US Politics there are thousands of federal agencies, departments, commissions and administrations, all carrying out different functions and regulation in different areas. Often they are designed to be the experts in their field, knowing all the ins and outs of a particular policy area. As such they are often in the best place to enact rules and regulations that will work within that area and ensure that they are appropriate. For example the Federal Aviation Administration will pass rules surrounding safety requirements for aircraft operating in the United States. The enactment of such regulation is known as quasi-legislative power.

However these agencies are subject to oversight by Congress and any decisions that are created by these agencies can be overturned or reversed by Congress if it sees fit. Despite this quasi-legislative power is particularly powerful.

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