In Norton v. Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its first decision definitively construing § 706(1) of the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA"). This section ostensibly provides for review of agency action "unlawfully withheld or unreasonably delayed." However, the Court's opinion narrowly construed section 706(1) so as to allow review only for discrete agency actions that are legally required. As a result, the Court held that Bureau of Land Management compliance with a Federal Land Management and Policy Act ("FLPMA") provision mandating management of certain public lands so as to prevent impairment of their wilderness characteristics was not subject to judicial review. This article examines the Court's opinion and concludes that by limiting the scope of review under section 706(1), the Court effectively immunized agencies from compliance with broad congressional mandates. This article further argues that such a result was not required by the language or history of section 706(1), and that the purposes of both the APA and FLPMA would be better served by a more expansive interpretation of section 706(1).

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