Challenges to Agency Rulemaking and the Courts

Rulemaking process is a tough task that is entrusted to the legislatures. Administrative agencies are expected to create and implement rules that help in carrying out public policies. However, the agency rulemaking is challenged by persons, groups, and organizations claiming to be harmed by decisions made during the rulemaking process. The challenging party (ies) might issue a complain. When the rule made is challenged by an individual, group, or organization by filing a lawsuit the court must confirm that they have a legal ground (Kerwin & Furlong, 2011). After establishing the legal ground the court must decide how to resolve the challenge. Different entities may have a right to challenge a rule in court. Again, there are various types of complaints that can be brought against the administrative agencies. When the challenge is presented, the court uses different standards and criteria to consider the challenges to agency. This essay discusses the person that has the right to challenge, types of complaints, and the standards and criteria used to determine a challenge.

Government agencies have the mandate to execute laws and regulations in a wide range of commercial activities both at state and federal level. However, the regulatory actions are determined by the statutes passed by congress or legislature following the rules set by the legislative bodies. Government agencies are required to follow the procedures set by Administrative Procedures Act (APA). The challenge can be presented by a person, group, or organization that can provide evidence that the agency misinterpreted its governing statute or made erroneous conclusions of law. It also apply when the aggrieved parties present facts that the agency used improper procedures in decision making.

The lawmaking process can either be informal or formal. Before implementing new rules, federal administrative agencies should consider the procedures stipulated by APA. In informal rulemaking, for example, they are expected to publicize the proposed law in the federal register. After the publication, the agency should accept public comments for a minimum of 30 days (Harrington & Carter, 2015). The notice aims at giving the interested parties the opportunity to weigh the consequences of the proposed rule. The public has an opportunity to oppose or criticize the aspects of the rule. When there is sufficient criticism and opposition, the agency should consider modifying or re-drafting the rule. However, some matters are critical to the interest of the public thus requiring formal lawmaking where the public is not directly involved. In formal lawmaking, the administrative agency conducts a public hearing presided by administrative law judge. During the hearing, the interested parties have an opportunity to present argument (Harrington & Carter, 2015).

After the completion of all the necessary processes in the rulemaking, the agency publishes a notice of final rule in federal register. The new rule is then codified in the code of federal regulation. The interested parties can challenge a new regulation if: the agency did not follow the procedures stipulated by the APA, violates other constitutional or statutory rights of exceeds the authority granted by the congress.

When the agency is sued, it can escape judicial review if the statute exempts it or is committed to agency discretion (Richardson, 1996). When a statute is explicit and clear to overcome the presumption for reviewing section 701(a) 1 apply as seen in Abbott Laboratories v. Gardner case. The case was presented by individuals and associations of the prescribing drugs industry to challenge the decision by the commissioner of food and drug to publicize established name. They argued that the decision was pursuant. Abbott Laboratories argued that ripeness did not prohibit drug companies from challenging food and drug administration regulation that demanded a prescription drug to be labeled. The government held that the case was not ripe because the regulation was not enforced.

Massachusetts v. EPA is another example that illustrates a lawmaking challenge case. The case was after the declaration that global temperatures had increased with increase emission of carbon dioxide that result to global warming. A group of states, local government, and private organizations filed a petition against Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They argued that EPA had abandoned the responsibility to regulate the emission of greenhouse gases as stipulated under Clean Air Act. The petitioners demanded EPA to explain whether they had a statutory authority to regulate emission of greenhouse gases from new vehicles and if their reasons given for not controlling these gases were in agreement with the statute. EPA responded by saying that they could not answer the question unless the any of the petitioners had a standing to appeal to jurisdiction under Article III of the constitution.

In conclusion, lawmaking process requires the administrative agency to consider the outcome of the new rule. Proper procedure must be followed before implementing new laws. The law can be made through informal or formal lawmaking process. An individual, groups, or organizations that are not comfortable can challenge the administrative agency but must have a standing. Abbott Laboratories v. Gardner and Massachusetts v. EPA are examples of the administrative challenge cases. These two cases explain how the lawmaking challenges are handled. There should be ripeness for the prosecution and the petitioner must have a standing to back his/her argument.

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