Reassessing Administrative Finality: The Importance of New Evidence and Changed Circumstances

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Cleveland State Law Review


Administrative finality of agency action is generally thought of as a method of avoiding premature judicial review—a claim that the review is too early. But it is also used to prevent judicial review by claiming that the review has now come too late. There are two primary exceptions to this prohibition: new evidence and changed circumstances. However, courts and agencies are reluctant to permit challengers to use these exceptions as often as should be statutorily allowed, an area that scholarship has been neglected.

This Article fills the gap by exploring this aspect of administrative finality, looking at the important government interests the doctrine safeguards, as well as both the individual and government interests counseling against finality in these changed circumstances. It reaches the conclusion that the doctrine is being applied too strictly, examining recent cases involving both disability and immigration where it has prevented proper review of the agency decision at issue.


Originally published in Cleveland State Law Review. Copyright Cleveland State University.