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Federal Regulations Advisor

Insight and Commentary on U.S. Government Regulatory Affairs

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 5/2/16: Amtrak’s Regulatory Derailment; Blowout Prevention; Dodd-Frank Long Cleanup; State and Local Internet Nondiscrimination & Reginfo Missing Again

Posted in Agency Authority, Constitutional Issues in Regulations, Executive - OMB Review, Judicial Review & Remedies

dawn over the capitol aocHighlights in regulatory practice last week included an arcane railroad timetable management train wreck may have complicated the authority of a number of different government-related organizations.  The Department of the Interior (DOI) finally published its major response to the Deepwater Horizon, but with risks.  Less risky, though not with élan or elegance, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) adopted without change 14 interim final rules from its regulatory inception.  The Department of Justice (DOJ) sought to avoid or reduce risk by downsizing a potentially problematic proposed rule to a pre-rule notice.  And that may be the last we will see of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) executive and interagency review until OMB corrects its own docket problems. Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 4/25/16: Medicare Reimbursements; Medical Facility Fire Safety; Internet Neutrality Privacy; WOTUS on the Ohio River & Drone Review

Posted in Agency Authority, Executive - OMB Review, Judicial Process

dawn over the capitol aocThis week’s highlights in regulatory practice seem to focus on periodic regulations from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  CMS last week submitted an annual batch of Medicare financing regulations for publication this week, with at least one hidden response to a court.  Not far behind, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) completed interagency and executive review of a CMS rule that governs medical facility safety.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed privacy rules for internet providers, while on small matters, a court of appeals declined to rehear en banc a splintered jurisdictional decision on the major Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.  Up soon will be a final drone rule with high expectations and high risks. Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 4/18/16: Immigration Injury Costs & Regulation; FLSA Exemption Definition; Contraceptive Accommodation Remedies; Post Hoc Appropriate and Necessary Notice; Respirable Silica Consolidated; CFPB Appointment & Ratification; and Petitions, Delay & Funding Bars

Posted in Agency Authority, Judicial Process, Judicial Review & Remedies

dawn over the capitol aocSpringtime means the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) will be busy and they are not alone.  SCOTUS will hear argument in immigration policy and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulatory cases this week, and may consider responses to SCOTUS’ remedies question in the conflict between a regulatory contraceptive mandate and statutory religious rights.  Other highlights include a belated Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) response to a statutory mandate; the consolidation of several petitions for review of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) respirable crystalline silica rule; judicial avoidance of authority issues in a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)’s enforcement action; and a court order directing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to respond to a mandamus petition. Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 4/11/16: Corporate Inversions Ruled Out; Untrusted Fiduciary Rule; Sanitary Transport; Silica Suits & Agency Authority Constitutional Challenge

Posted in Agency Authority, Constitutional Issues in Regulations, Judicial Review & Remedies, Regulatory Process

dawn over the capitol aocThe Administration fully engaged in institutionalizing its policies through promulgated rules with the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) all publishing economically significant final rules this week.  Petitions for review challenged the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s crystalline silica rule as expected.  In a not expected event, a court ordered counsel to prepare to argue remedies, indicating the court has a serious concern that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) lacks constitutional authority. Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 4/4/16: SCOTUS Seeks Contraceptive Alternatives; Religious Discrimination Regulations; Persuader Suits & Retirement Fiduciary Duties Debut

Posted in Executive - OMB Review, Judicial Review & Remedies, Regulatory Process

dawn over the capitol aocThe United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) rarely orders post-argument briefing, particularly on a discrete but lopsided question, but it did so last week on an issue of agency compliance with specific statutory freedom of religion requirements.  Several agencies, also last week, adopted “regulations” that further express grant administration policy for religiously affiliated non-profits.  Of the totally expected, various groups filed at least three challenges to the Department of Labor (DOL)’s recent “persuader” rule.  Looking forward, the word is that DOL will release another major rule this week:  fiduciary duties. Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 3/28/16: SCOTUS on WOTUS Jurisdiction & Finality; Privilege & Persuader Agreements; and Respirable Crystalline Silica, Morbidity & Mortality Values

Posted in Agency Authority, Judicial Process, Judicial Review & Remedies

dawn over the capitol aocThis week, the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) will hear argument over a thorny issue of finality when the determination imposes a draconian choice.  The Department of Labor (DOL) took center stage in the regulatory practice last week with the publication of two long anticipated final rules:  exposure limitations on one of the most common elements on earth and new disclosure requirements for employers for attempting to persuade employees on the subject of unionization. Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 3/21/16: SCOTUS Weighing Regulatory Accommodation; Another MATS Challenge; Overtime Laboring; Speculative Endangerment; & Removing Obsolescence

Posted in Agency Authority, Executive - OMB Review, Judicial Review & Remedies, Regulatory Process

dawn over the capitol aocThis week the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) will take up the latest edition of a significant statutory and regulatory conflict and SCOTUS may soon return to another substantial Administrative Procedure Act (APA) remand without vacatur case.  Far up the street, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) began review of one of the more contentious and least understood regulations that may (or may not) affect pay.  One agency projecting risk beyond a generation cost it a rule at least temporarily, while another agency attempts to eliminate the obsolete. Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review — 3/14/16: Administration’s Unpublished Grade; OPT STEM ReRule; Joint Passport and Visa Emergencies & Aircraft Performance / Design

Posted in Agency Authority, Judicial Process, Judicial Review & Remedies

dawn over the capitol aocThe Administration may have finally dispatched litigation over one of its more troubling proxy choices last week, while agencies responded to one recent potential and one ancient complete vacatur. On a positive note, a new proposal to replace control standards with performance standards deserves a look as a matter of principle if not for its application. Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 3/7/16: Clean Water Rule Complicated; MATS Stay Rejected; Airport Screening Legalized; OPT STEM Revision to Avoid Vacatur; COOL Handful of Nothin’ & De-Vaporizing Airplanes

Posted in Executive - OMB Review, Judicial Process, Judicial Review & Remedies, Regulatory Process

dawn over the capitol aocLegal minutiae often drives the greatest of issues and last week proves that point with a petition for rehearing en banc over jurisdiction and the denial of a stay. Logistically, compliance with detailed court orders can prove a challenge for agencies, exhibited by action on two judicially-required rules. In addition, even the nondiscretionary rulemaking and codifying existing interpretation consistent with all-but-settled facts can contain challenges. Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 2/29/16: WOTUS Functional Jurisdiction; MATS Remand, Vacatur & Post Hoc Rationalization; and Flying Lithium Batteries

Posted in Judicial Process, Judicial Review & Remedies

dawn over the capitol aocLitigation updates deserve attention this morning with clarification of court jurisdiction over Clean Water Act (CWA) regulations and a new request that the short-handed United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) intervene in lower court petitions for review. At the operational level, a longstanding regulatory debate took on new meaning as an international regulatory body banned lithium batteries from bulk air transport, raising anew the question of whether a domestic ban is in the works. Continue Reading