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Category Archives: Agency Authority

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D.C. Circuit Vacates EPA Affirmative Defense Regulation – Some Limits on Regulatory Authority

Posted in Agency Authority, Judicial Review & Remedies

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decided last Friday in Natural Resources Defense Council v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that (1) the emissions-related provisions of the 2013 Portland Cement Rule were permissible but that (2) EPA exceeded its statutory authority in a 2010 version by promulgating an affirmative defense… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 4/21/14: EPA Electricity Generating Units; Beer, Grain & Cattle; Tax Exempt Organizations & Politics; Waters of the United States; & Helicopter Ambulances

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

Regulatory practice was illustrated by several specific actions in the past week, some of which have subtle implications.  The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit opined on the efficacy of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s 2012 air pollution regulation of electric generating units, but with several deep divisions.  In the… Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Vacates Dodd-Frank Conflict Minerals Provision & SEC Rule as Violating First Amendment Free Speech

Posted in Agency Authority, Constitutional Issues in Regulations, Regulatory Process

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia today, in National Association of Manufacturers v. SEC, affirmed a district court judgment that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) did not violate procedural requirements or misconstrue the statute in promulgating the Conflict Minerals Rule, but vacated the specific underlying statutory provision and the… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 3/31/14: Obamacare Extension; Waters of the United States; IRS Meets Bitcoin; & COOL Regulations Preliminary Injunction Denial Affirmed

Posted in Agency Authority, Judicial Review & Remedies, Regulatory Flexibility & Small Business, Regulatory Process

Anthology of the highlights of the last week in regulatory practice is somewhat focuses on some large issues that drew immediate attention, even if the substantive resolutions are many years away.  Foremost (of course) is the latest adjustment in Obamacare in Bulletins from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare and… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review II – 3/17/14: FLSA Overtime Standards; H-2B Wage Methodology; Gainful Employment; & Electronic Logging Hours of Service

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

While Part I of today’s Monday Morning Regulatory Review (MMRR) focused on Obamacare and health care, this Part II focuses on a wider range of regulatory activity.  President Obama instructed the Department of Labor (DOL) to charge into the breach of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations and DOL, on its own hook, proposed another… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 3/3/14: FDA Food Labeling; DOJ Guidelines on Journalist Subpoenas; & EPA Greenhouse Gas Data

Posted in Agency Authority, Regulatory Process

Odds and ends from the Federal Register last week  The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed wholesale changes in food labeling, a White House priority.  The Department of Justice (DOJ) published a non-regulatory controversial final policy on how it will relate to news media in requesting information and… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 2/17/14: Obamacare Employer Mandate & Marijuana Dispensary Banking

Posted in Agency Authority, Regulatory Process

Another seemingly quiet week was punctuated by incursions on the twilight zone between regulations and guidance.  The Department of the Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) delayed and refined the Obamacare employer mandate by a final rule.  On the other hand, the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) attempted to… Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Affirms Permanent Injunction of IRS Tax Preparer Rule – No Authority & a Century of Silence

Posted in Agency Authority, Judicial Review & Remedies

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia today schooled the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of the Treasury (DOTr or Treasury) on statutory construction and the limits of delegated regulatory authority in Loving v. IRS, affirming the district court decision by the same name.  The court found that the… Continue Reading

Third Circuit Upholds Labor H-2B Regulations & Confuses Agency Rulemaking Jurisdiction

Posted in Agency Authority, Regulatory Process

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently upheld the Department of Labor (DOL) promulgation of regulations governing the calculation of the minimum wage a United States employer must offer to recruit non-agricultural foreign workers under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “H-2B” visa program in Louisiana Forestry Association v. Secretary United… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 2/3/14: Volcker & Trust Preferred Securities; SOTU Contractor Minimum Wage; Battery Charger Efficiency; Safe Food Transport; and CDL Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse

Posted in Agency Authority, Regulatory Process

This week in federal regulatory practice was highlighted by agency action rather than litigation, particularly the long-anticipated and delayed publication of the Volcker Rule and its first amendment, formally starting the clock for implementation and litigation.  The most significant action in the Administration’s long-term goals was President (POTUS)’s announcement that he would require federal contractors… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 1/20/14: Lobbyist Bar Remanded; Indian Country Clean Air Rule Vacated; Prison Telephone Rule Stayed; Obamacare Subsidies Rule and Non-Resident Alien Interest Reporting Rules Upheld; & Volcker Rule Retreat

Posted in Agency Authority, Judicial Process, Judicial Review & Remedies, Regulatory Flexibility & Small Business

The United States courts in the District of Columbia were the focus of the regulatory world last week, and the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacatur of the “net neutrality” rule was only the news leader.  The D.C. Circuit also remanded a case to the district court to assess… Continue Reading

FCC “Net Neutrality” Rules Vacated by U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit

Posted in Agency Authority, Judicial Review & Remedies

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia today vacated the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) “net neutrality” rules in Verizon v. FCC.  At the heart of the net neutrality issue is whether the FCC has authority to prohibit broadband Internet providers such as Verizon or Comcast or others from giving priority to… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 1/13/14: Electric Generating Emissions; Demise of the NLRB Posting Rule; Obamacare Regulation by Blog Post; Aircraft Repair Stations Coordination; Unified Agendas & Regulatory Plans

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

The beginning of a new year raises several process questions for regulatory practitioners.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a new proposed rule to limit emissions from new electric power generators – a rule EPA released several months ago, but only published last week.  The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) threw in the towel on… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 12/30/13: Obamacare Fractal Geography; Volcker Rule Stay & Reconsideration; OSHA Interpretations & Ripeness; and Rearview Mirrors & Cameras

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

The final week of 2013 does not go gently into that good night, with four unrelated but significant issues.  Obamacare further disintegrated as a nationwide legal program with further administrative exceptions and delays and piecemeal judicial bars to enforcement that have worn out their welcome.  The Volcker Rule still awaits publication in the Federal Register,… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 12/23/13: Obamacare Guidance, not Rules, & More Exceptions; Carbon Capture & Sequestration; OMB Reviews; Contracts, Dogs & Cats

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

As the end of year holidays and the health insurance deadline nears, the patchwork of Obamacare fixes and court decisions creating exceptions grows geometrically, making Obamacare less and less universal: at least two core policy changes and three new court decisions highlight the week.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a final rule that may… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 12/16/13: Obamacare Deadlines; Labor Elections Rule; Swaps Litigation; Vacating Empty Rules; & the Volcker Rule

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

Regulatory highlights from the past week include the Administration pushing back the deadline for applying for Obamacare and then begging insurance companies for even more time and leniency.  Two independent agencies – the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) threw in the towel on litigation and proposed new rules… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 12/9/13: Deferring Obamacare; International Swaps Derivatives; Economically Significant Right Whales & Social Cost of Carbon Comments

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

Significant events of the past week include a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on the implementation of Obamacare – and the legality of deferring enforcement; a new suit challenging the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) ongoing attempts to regulate the complex international derivative swaps markets; concluding the latest chapter in protecting the Right Whale… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 11/18/13

Posted in Agency Authority, Regulatory Process

After a deluge in last week’s multi-part Monday Morning Regulatory Review, this week is composed of odds and ends mostly bound together by the issue of funds transfers.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a menu of cost cutting and revenue enhancing measures that included the ever-devilish idea of increasing (and collecting) more fees from… Continue Reading

POTUS Issues New Climate Change Executive Order – Agenda for Preparing

Posted in Agency Authority

The White House released President Obama’s new Executive Order: Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change, on November 1.  Politicians, pundits, and the press either immediately overheated pro or con or totally ignored the release.  As with many such Executive Orders, pronouncements by the President of the United States (POTUS) do not… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 11/4/13

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

Obamacare (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or PPACA) remained in the spotlight last week with visible website problems and individual non-conforming insurance policy cancellations, but here the issues are more distinct:  the growing intercircuit conflict over the contraceptives mandate under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), and adoption of a new “hardship” exemption… Continue Reading

SCOTUS Argument Preview: Sandifer Interpretation, not Auer Deference

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

The United States Supreme Court will hear arguments in Sandifer v. U.S. Steel Corporation next Monday, November 4, 2013, asking the question “What constitutes “changing clothes” within the meaning of Section 203(o) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.”  Why Sandifer matters to administrative law practitioners beyond the presented statutory interpretation issue is not readily apparent. … Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 10/28/13

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

The Engine of Government fully engaged last week, paperwork to follow.  The Administration “announced” an interpretation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, aka ObamaCare) that permits more time for individuals to acquire health care and avoid tax penalties, while the United States District Court for the District of Columbia denied a preliminary… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 10/21/13

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

United States Government agencies lurched back into business and began to resolve the problems created by their absence, to the extent they can – and litigation has already commenced over the legality of a number of agency actions during the shutdown.  Post-reopening, some agencies, such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have attempted to make… Continue Reading

Greenhouse Gases – Statutory Construction & the Length of Regulatory Logic

Posted in Agency Authority, Judicial Review & Remedies

The United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) yesterday granted review in six greenhouse gas cases, consolidated them all into one, and posited its own question for argument:  “Whether [the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)] permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary… Continue Reading