Federal Agencies Need A Uniform Record-Keeping Process

By Kelly Dunbar, James Barton and Megan Yan (July 15, 2019, 5:41 PM EDT) -- The headlines on June 27, 2019, touched on a politically hot-button issue: Whether the Trump administration could add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.[1] But the real star of the show? The administrative record. At the heart of the dispute before the U.S. Supreme Court was whether the compilation of materials turned over by the U.S. Department of Commerce properly supported the agency's position.

The administrative record plays a hugely important part of any challenge to agency action under the Administrative Procedure Act, or APA. Challenges to agency actions under the APA are to be conducted on "the whole record...

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