Deep Dive Episode 88 – The Whys and Hows of Commenting on Rules

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Public notice and comment on rulemaking is a core requirement of the Administrative Procedure Act, and creates the administrative record on which any subsequent judicial review will be based. Yet many people (even people who take the trouble to vote) seem to think that commenting on rules is difficult or futile, and therefore don’t participate – even when they care about the outcome. This Teleforum will discuss the practical mechanics of tracking the development of rules and filing timely comments; in fact, timely filing is about the only legal requirement for getting comments onto the record. It will describe the sorts of comments that tend to be effective in persuading an agency, including comments made directly by affected small entities without professional representation. It will also explain the concept of a “Public Interest Comment” which argues, not on behalf of any particular party or cause (however worthy), but in favor of a balanced resolution of the conflicting considerations that an agency must take into account.

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Susan Dudley

Director, GW Regulatory Studies Center & Distinguished Professor of Practice

Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration, The George Washington University


Karen Harned

Executive Director

National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center


Brian Mannix

Research Professor

Regulatory Studies Center, George Washington University


Federalist Society’s Administrative Law & Regulation Practice Group

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