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Federal Regulations Advisor Insight and Commentary on U.S. Government Regulatory Affairs

Category Archives: Regulatory Process

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Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 7/27/15: WOTUS Litigation Joined; CFPB Recess Appointment Challenge Revived; Contraceptive Insurance Exception & Immigration Executive Action Regulation

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

Litigation dominated regulatory practice last week. New filings in the Waters of the United States litigation clarified, as expected, some issues and process in nearly a dozen different district courts, and two court of appeals standing decisions will require the Administration to respond to a recess appointment challenge and an individual exception to the Obamacare… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 7/20/15: More WOTUS Litigation; Contraceptive Coverage Uncovered & Employee / Independent Contractor Guidance

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

As Washington swelters, the regulatory docket remains relatively cool. Among last week’s highlights, litigants further challenged the regulatory jurisdictional definition of “Waters of the United States” and the current, now published final iteration of Obamacare contraceptive coverage rules generate more issues for potential litigation. On a less-than-regulatory front, new guidance on the distinction between employees… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 7/13/15: Nutrition Labeling Extended; Housing Grants; Contraceptive Mandate Update; Truck Emissions & Immigration Executive Action Again

Posted in Judicial Review & Remedies, Regulatory Process

Summer in Washington and the regulatory agenda is not on vacation, but small sauntering through large items. For example, one agency has extended by a year the compliance date for a major rule, another agency created a public relations controversy while releasing a much narrower rule, a third agency released only a fact sheet on… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 07/06/15: Empty Overtime Proposal & WOTUS Litigation Deluge

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

Two significant actions in regulatory affairs in the week past, other than United States Supreme Court decision, are worth note. The Department of Labor (DOL) published its controversial Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage ceiling requirement in today’s Federal Register, but the proposed rule raises less substance and greater procedural problems than expected. At… Continue Reading

SCOTUS Rejects EPA Refusal to Consider Costs in Power Plant Rules — Remand for Further Analysis

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

A deeply divided United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS), in Michigan v. EPA, today held that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “strayed well beyond the bounds of reasonable interpretation in concluding that cost is not a factor relevant to the appropriateness of regulating power plants.” SCOTUS reversed the decision of the United States Court of Appeals… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 6/22/15: Truck Emissions Standards & Orphan Drugs Revisited

Posted in Agency Authority, Regulatory Process

While we await the major decisions of the year by the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS), the regulatory process was relatively quiet last week. The most significant activity focused on proposed emission standards for heavy duty trucks and a proposed rethinking of the orphan drug program, both of which deserve critical review for regulatory process… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 6/15/15: Final Rules, not Proposed; Open Internet Unstayed & Effective; Complete Agency Rulemaking Records; Aircraft Engine Endangerment; & Food Safety Returns

Posted in Agency Authority, Judicial Process, Regulatory Process

Federal courts reminded by agencies and litigators of lessons they should have previously learned last week, while agencies banked more fuel for future regulatory fires. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reiterated that only final rules, not proposed rules, are subject to judicial review, and it also denied a… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 5/18/15: Snakes in the Interior; Traditional Waters of the United States; Retirement Account Fiduciary Standards; & Upcoming Discussions of Interest

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

A most interesting opinion from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia preliminarily enjoined the Department of the Interior (DOI) from enforcing regulations that prohibited the interstate transportation of two species of reptiles found to be “injurious” under the Lacey Act. United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 5/11/15: Wholesale & Retail Electricity; FLSA Overtime Regulations; and Renewable Fuel Standards

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

Three different and recurring intersections of regulations and litigation highlight the past week. The United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) added another case to the oral argument calendar with potentially significant regulatory implications. The Department of Labor (DOL) finally submitted a proposal to revise the executive and administrative exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 4/13/15: Waters of the United States; Renewable Fuels Consent Decree; Open Internet Utility Rule; Shepherd’s Wages; Immigration Executive Action Litigation VII; and Religious Workers & Legal Status

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

Half a dozen highlights from regulatory practice last week – from environmental to communications, to labor to immigration. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (Engineers) submitted a controversial Waters of the United States (WOTUS) final rule for executive and interagency review, and EPA also proposed resolution of the long delayed Renewable… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 3/23/15: White House Transparency Regulations; Federal Fleet Pollution; Federal Fracking; & H-2B Vacatur & Emergency Regulations

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

Prioritizing last week’s interesting regulatory affairs proves a little difficult because the affairs are so diverse, so this post may seem random. The White House’s administrative side removed regulations in a Federal Register final rule, perhaps for the right reason, but perhaps in the wrong way. The President of the United States (POTUS) also issued… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 3/16/15: Functional Delegation Test; Open Internet Neutrality Rule Opened; Immigration Executive Action Litigation V

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

Three regulatory highlights for the past week do not appear to have any discernable connections. The United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) disappointed (or maybe disowned) a cousin of the constitutional nondelegation doctrine by reversing and remanding a case limited to the regulatory power of a unique government corporation – Amtrak. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)… Continue Reading

SCOTUS Rejects D.C. Circuit Notice & Comment Rulemaking Requirement for Changing Agency Interpretation

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

The United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) held today, in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association, that an interpretative rule does not require advance notice and an opportunity for public comment under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) no matter when the agency adopts the interpretation, unanimously reversing the contrary decision of the United States Court of Appeals… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 3/2/15: Open Utility Internet; Immigration Executive Action Litigation III; and Retirement Investment Fiduciaries

Posted in Agency Authority, Judicial Process, Regulatory Process

Regulations were a significant topic in the news last week, led by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision to treat internet service providers as a common carrier and left the general public in the dark. Litigation over the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memorandum on granting status to parents and children of aliens who otherwise… Continue Reading

Immigration Executive Action Preliminary Injunction – A Hold on Benefits and Costs for Now

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

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas preliminarily enjoined the United States, its agencies, officials, and employees from implementing all aspects of President Obama’s (or POTUS) executive action on immigration on the eve of implementation pending further order of the court or higher judicial authority. In essence, the district court found… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 2/9/15: Net Neutrality Utility; Statutory Supplements & Foreign Religious Workers; and Regulatory Reform Redux

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

Interesting regulatory events of the past week come from all three branches of the United States Government.  From the independent Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Chairman signaled his proposed way forward on the issue of “net neutrality” that could become a significant regulatory morass.  A district court vacated several provisions of immigration regulations in the… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 2/2/15: OMB Review Substance, Process, Docket & Issues

Posted in Regulatory Process

Last night, the Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) banned drones (and nearly all other flight) from within 30 nautical miles (34.5 miles) and under 18,000’ mean sea level of Super Bowl XLIX in a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), while its proposed rule to regulate the use of drones – technically known as… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 1/26/15: Florescent Lights & Analytical Balance; NESHAP & Affirmative Defenses; and WOTUS Supporting Documents & Public Comments

Posted in Judicial Review & Remedies, Regulatory Process

Focus recently on the courts does not mean that the agencies have been silent, and while they have been relatively quiet, they continue to raise some interesting issues.  For example, the Department of Energy (DOE) today published the latest in a long series of energy efficiency rulemakings and one that will affect every consumer.  The… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 1/19/15: Judicial Review of Agency Standards of Discretion; Regulatory Takings Standards; FLSA Home Care Regulations II; NLRB Elections Rule Litigation IIA; Be Sued & Settle

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

The United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) granted review in several cases with significant regulatory implications last Friday – neither of which is the case that has drawn all the press attention and both of which should be decided early this summer.  In one case, SCOTUS may be approaching the twilight zone of judicial review of… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 12/22/14: H-2B Visa Regulation Vacated; Immigration Executive Action Dicta; Agency Regulatory Plans & OMB Completions; EPA Coal Ash Rules; Uniform Grant Rules; Trucker Hours of Service; & ACUS Recommendations

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

The penultimate Monday of the year, when many federal workers are using rather than losing annual leave, is hardly the time to believe that the regulatory machine is slowing down.  Quite to the contrary, after Congress has left town, both the courts and the agencies remain at full throttle.  Judicial highlights of the past week… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review –12/15/14: FLSA Security Screenings; NLRB Elections Rule; Contractor Rehab Act Rule; Contractor Inversions & Minimum Wage Rules

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

For some reason, today seems to be Labor Day – that is, all of the significant actions we cover deal with the regulation of employment of some type.  Today focuses on two rules of general applicability and three rules dealing with employment requirements of government contractors.  The United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) surprised many with… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 12/8/14: Immigration Executive Action; H2B Wage Rates; Regulations & Non-Discretionary Duties; and Waters of the United States

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

The immigration “executive action” became much clearer with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rolling out a variety of memoranda implementing the President (POTUS)’s priorities, but there was no, and many not have ever been, an “Executive Order.”  Nonetheless, the first legal challenge has been filed and the state of affairs deserves review.  On another… Continue Reading

SCOTUS, Interpretative Rules & the Government’s Shifting Interpretation

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

The United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) oral argument on Monday in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association underscored the complexity of the distinction between legislative rules and interpretative rules under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and the degree of deference that courts grant to agencies in resolving ambiguity under their delegated programmatic statutes.  Oral argument may… Continue Reading

Monday Morning Regulatory Review – 12/1/14: Electric Generating Hazardous Emissions & Costs; Quintennial Ozone Standard; Calorie Counting; and Election Financing Disclosure

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

The very short Thanksgiving workweek was punctuated by a significant new United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) grant of review of requirements for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in regulating hazardous air pollutants – this time by electric utilities.  The day before Thanksgiving has traditionally been a day for rolling out controversial actions to reduce adverse… Continue Reading