Public Participation and the Power of Persuasion

Brian F. Mannix

I care about regulatory policy, and over the years have filed comments on the record in dozens of agency rulemakings.  Most of these comments have been ignored, but many have been influential – a few spectacularly so.  I cannot say the same about the votes I have cast in federal elections.

The Federalist Society has been giving needed attention to the frayed mechanisms that hold the administrative state accountable – to Congress, to the president, and to the courts.  But the people also have a direct say, and we should not overlook the importance of public comment in shaping regulatory decisions.

Tune in tomorrow for a Free Lunch teleforum: The Commenting Power: Agency Accountability through Public Participation.  Maleka Momand, former President of Argive, will talk about a 2017 report she co-authored with recommendations for improving the public comment process (former GW intern Rachael Behr reviewed the Argive report here).  Professor Donald Kochan will talk about his recent paper on the underappreciated power of public comment.

Brian Mannix

Research Professor

Regulatory Studies Center, George Washington University

Regulatory Process

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