Category Archives: Symposia

Why Does Anyone Care What an Agency Says?

by Aaron Nielson — Friday, Feb. 2, 2018@Aaron_L_Nielson

It’s no secret that agencies communicate with the public. Nor is it a secret that the public often listens. It is worth thinking about, however, why the public listens. Sometimes, of course, it is a not a mystery why what an agency says is important. Imagine, for instance, that an agency has authority to waive […]

How Agencies Should Communicate During Notice-and-Comment Rulemaking

by Chris Walker — Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018@chris_j_walker

As Elizabeth Porter and Kathryn Watts noted in their contribution to this symposium on how agencies communicate (as well as Michael Herz in his contribution), federal agencies have begun to utilize social media and other channels to explain and promote their preferred regulatory outcomes. Sometimes such communications take place during the public comment period on […]

Interim-Final or Temporary Regulations: Playing Fast and Loose with the Rules (Sometimes), by Kristin E. Hickman

by Guest Blogger — Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018

In administrative law doctrine, much significance is placed not only on what agencies say but on the format they use to say it. Interpretations of statutes expressed in legislative rules carry the force of law—i.e., are legally binding on private parties—so must comply with Administrative Procedure Act (APA) notice and comment requirements and usually are […]

This entry was tagged .

Where to Find Authoritative Guidance on Regulatory Meaning, by Kevin M. Stack

by Guest Blogger — Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018

When regulated entities or the public want to know what a regulation means, where do they look? They will, of course, focus on the text of the regulation. But what other sources bear on how regulations apply? In particular, what is the most authoritative source agencies issue to assist in determining the meaning and application […]

This entry was tagged .

Challenges Agencies Face in Communicating by Guidance, by Nicholas R. Parrillo

by Guest Blogger — Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018

The most official way for an agency to communicate with the public is through binding legislative rulemaking. But an agency can send out communications much faster, and at higher volume, if it communicates by guidance—that is, by general public statements, nonbinding, giving its current thinking on how it will interpret the law and use its […]

This entry was tagged .

Involuntary Rulemaking?

by Andy Grewal — Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018

As the various entries in this Symposium show, agencies enjoy considerable flexibility in determining whether, when, and how to publicly communicate their enforcement priorities and legal interpretations. But sometimes, through statutes like the Freedom of Information Act, an agency may be forced to reveal things that it would otherwise keep out of the public’s eye. For […]

This entry was tagged .

Administrative Braggadocio, by Michael Herz

by Guest Blogger — Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018

For a democracy to function even a little bit like it should, the public needs to know what the government is up to. A robust press is one mechanism. FOIA is another. But the most obvious is for the government just to tell the public about its projects and plans. Unfortunately, while the government has […]

This entry was tagged .

Visual Regulation—and Visual Deregulation, by Elizabeth Porter & Kathryn Watts

by Guest Blogger — Monday, Jan. 29, 2018

Historically, rulemaking has been defined by dense text and linear analysis. Yet, during the Obama administration, a colorful new visual rulemaking universe emerged—one that splashed rulemaking-related images, GIFs, and videos across social media channels. Agencies, interested stakeholders, and President Obama himself used sophisticated visual tools to develop and engender support for—or opposition to—high-stakes federal rulemakings. […]

This entry was tagged .

Ideology and Expertise: Reflecting on Stephen F. Williams’s Maklakov

by Peter Conti-Brown — Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017

Although our active blogging on the CFPB debacle now makes last week seem like ancient history, we had a historic occasion to host Judge Stephen F. Williams as a guest blogger. (Here is my introduction; here is Sam Halabi’s review of Judge Williams’s book; and his posts are here, here, and here.) I hope our […]