There are basically three types of arbitrary decisions. One type is a decision characterized by the lack of any determining principle. The second type is characterized not so much by the lack of a determining principle as by the broad or generalized nature of the principles which do exist. The third type of arbitrary decisions results from factors which are extrinsic to but inextricably intertwined with and having a great influence on the decision which is rendered. It is much easier to find workable solutions to the first and third category of cases than it is for the second category. Yet, the means to correct arbitrary decisions are now available. In this regard, the problem lies not in knowing what remedy to pursue after the fact but in the time and expense related thereto. The more meaningful remedy is to prevent the causes which result in arbitrary decisions. But here, it is the knowledge of what to do that is troublesome. This article expresses the view that avoidance of most arbitrary exercises of the decisional function in administrative proceedings can best be achieved by the clearer definition of both the congressional policies to be administered and the administrative policies adopted in response thereto. The task is far from simple but if accomplished holds great promise for elimination of most of the factors which lie at the root of arbitrary decisions.
Edward V. Long,
Arbitrary Administrative Decisions: The Need for Clearer Congressional and Administrative Policies,
47 Neb. L. Rev. 459
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol47/iss3/3