Author

Caitlin Styrsky

Caitlin Styrsky is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

Federal Register weekly update; highest weekly final rule total since March

The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity that includes presidential documents, proposed and final rules, and public notices. It is a common measure of an administration’s regulatory activity.

From June 22 to June 26, the Federal Register grew by 1,410 pages for a year-to-date total of 38,740 pages. Over the same period in 2019 and 2018, the Federal Register reached 31,170 pages and 30,830 pages, respectively. As of June 26, the 2020 total led the 2019 total by 7,570 pages and the 2018 total by 7,910 pages.

The Federal Register hit an all-time high of 95,894 pages in 2016.

This week’s Federal Register featured the following 522 documents:

• 406 notices
• three presidential documents
• 31 proposed rules
• 82 final rules
Two final rules concerning veterans grants and the Federal Home Loan Bank were deemed significant under E.O. 12866—meaning that they could have large impacts on the economy, environment, public health, or state or local governments. Significant actions may also conflict with presidential priorities or other agency rules. The Trump administration in 2020 has issued 21 significant proposed rules, 30 significant final rules, and one significant notice as of June 26.

Not all rules issued by the Trump administration are regulatory actions. Some rules are deregulatory actions pursuant to President Trump’s (R) Executive Order 13771, which requires federal agencies to eliminate two old significant regulations for each new significant regulation issued.

Ballotpedia maintains page counts and other information about the Federal Register as part of its Administrative State Project. The project is a neutral, nonpartisan encyclopedic resource that defines and analyzes the administrative state, including its philosophical origins, legal and judicial precedents, and scholarly examinations of its consequences. The project also monitors and reports on measures of federal government activity.

Click here to find more information about weekly additions to the Federal Register in 2018 and 2017.

Additional reading:



Lucia settles with SEC after eight years of litigation

Raymond Lucia, the plaintiff in the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court case Lucia v. SEC, reached a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on June 17 after eight years of litigation. The settlement requires Lucia to pay a $25,000 fine and allows him to reapply for reinstatement as an investment advisor.

The Lucia case challenged the constitutionality of the SEC’s appointment of its administrative law judges (ALJs). The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June 2018 that the agency’s ALJ appointments violated the U.S. Constitution’s Appointments Clause. The court found that the SEC’s ALJs are inferior officers (rather than agency employees) who must be appointed by the agency’s commissioners as required by the Constitution’s Appointments Clause. Lucia’s case was sent back to the SEC for a new hearing before a different, constitutionally appointed ALJ.

ALJs are officials who preside over federal administrative hearings and serve as both the judge and the jury. The Administrative Procedure Act requires that ALJs preside over hearings during formal adjudication proceedings, but they may also preside over hearings during informal adjudication. Adjudication proceedings include agency determinations outside of the rulemaking process that aim to resolve disputes between either agencies and private parties or between two private parties

Additional reading:



Federal Register weekly update; tops 37,000 pages

The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity that includes presidential documents, proposed and final rules, and public notices. It is a common measure of an administration’s regulatory activity.

From June 15 to June 19, the Federal Register grew by 1,192 pages for a year-to-date total of 37,330 pages. Over the same period in 2019 and 2018, the Federal Register reached 29,370 pages and 29,434 pages, respectively. As of June 19, the 2020 total led the 2019 total by 7,960 pages and the 2018 total by 7,896 pages.

The Federal Register hit an all-time high of 95,894 pages in 2016.

This week’s Federal Register featured the following 477 documents:

• 393 notices
• five presidential documents
• 24 proposed rules
• 55 final rules

One notice related to hazardous air pollutants was deemed significant under E.O. 12866—meaning that it could have large impacts on the economy, environment, public health, or state or local governments. The Trump administration in 2020 has issued 21 significant proposed rules, 28 significant final rules, and one significant notice as of June 19.

Not all rules issued by the Trump administration are regulatory actions. Some rules are deregulatory actions pursuant to President Trump’s (R) Executive Order 13771, which requires federal agencies to eliminate two existing significant regulations for each new significant regulation issued.

Ballotpedia maintains page counts and other information about the Federal Register as part of its Administrative State Project. The project is a neutral, nonpartisan encyclopedic resource that defines and analyzes the administrative state, including its philosophical origins, legal and judicial precedents, and scholarly examinations of its consequences. The project also monitors and reports on measures of federal government activity.

Click here to find more information about weekly additions to the Federal Register in 2018 and 2017.

Additional reading:



Maryland and Florida see leadership changes in ALJ corps

Leadership changes occurred this week in Maryland and Florida’s administrative law judge (ALJ) corps. The governor’s power to appoint head ALJs in these and similar states helps the executive direct and oversee state administrative activity.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) on June 9 appointed Chung Ki Pak to serve as the state’s new chief ALJ. Pak will manage the roughly 60 ALJs employed by the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings, which provides Maryland state agencies with ALJs to hold hearings and adjudicate disputes.

In Florida, Chief ALJ John MacIver, an appointee of Governor Ron DeSantis (R), resigned on June 9 to transition to a new role as counsel for the state’s chief financial officer. DeSantis must gain approval from his cabinet to appoint MacIver’s replacement. Florida’s chief ALJ also serves as the director of the state Division of Administrative Hearings, which provides ALJs to state agencies, cities, counties, and independent government entities to adjudicate disputes.

Maryland and Florida are examples of states with centralized ALJ panels. Unlike federal ALJs, who are appointed by agency heads to hold administrative hearings at specific agencies, 27 states centralize their ALJ corps and provide ALJs to state agencies on request. The goal of the centralized ALJ structure is to protect procedural rights for citizens in administrative adjudication by ensuring that the presiding judge is independent of the agency that is a party to the case.

Additional reading:



Federal Register weekly update; lowest weekly page total since first week of January

The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity that includes presidential documents, proposed and final rules, and public notices. It is a common measure of an administration’s regulatory activity.

From June 8 to June 12, the Federal Register grew by 1,182 pages for a year-to-date total of 36,138 pages. Over the same period in 2019 and 2018, the Federal Register reached 27,906 pages and 28,150 pages, respectively. As of June 12, the 2020 total led the 2019 total by 8,232 pages and the 2018 total by 7,988 pages.

The Federal Register hit an all-time high of 95,894 pages in 2016.

This week’s Federal Register featured the following 516 documents:
• 413 notices
• four presidential documents
• 53 proposed rules
• 48 final rules
No proposed or final rules were deemed significant under E.O. 12866—meaning that they could have large impacts on the economy, environment, public health, or state or local governments. Significant actions may also conflict with presidential priorities or other agency rules. The Trump administration in 2020 has issued 21 significant proposed rules and 28 significant final rules as of June 12.

Not all rules issued by the Trump administration are regulatory actions. Some rules are deregulatory actions pursuant to President Trump’s (R) Executive Order 13771, which requires federal agencies to eliminate two old significant regulations for each new significant regulation issued.

Ballotpedia maintains page counts and other information about the Federal Register as part of its Administrative State Project. The project is a neutral, nonpartisan encyclopedic resource that defines and analyzes the administrative state, including its philosophical origins, legal and judicial precedents, and scholarly examinations of its consequences. The project also monitors and reports on measures of federal government activity.

Click here to find more information about weekly additions to the Federal Register in 2018 and 2017.

Click here to find yearly information about additions to the Federal Register from 1936 to 2018.



Federal Register weekly update; highest weekly document total since March

The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity that includes presidential documents, proposed and final rules, and public notices. It is a common measure of an administration’s regulatory activity.

From June 1 to June 5, the Federal Register grew by 1,980 pages for a year-to-date total of 34,956 pages. Over the same period in 2019 and 2018, the Federal Register reached 26,738 pages and 26,832 pages, respectively. As of June 5, the 2020 total led the 2019 total by 8,218 pages and the 2018 total by 8,124 pages.

The Federal Register hit an all-time high of 95,894 pages in 2016.

This week’s Federal Register featured the following 631 documents:
  • 501 notices
  • nine presidential documents
  • 52 proposed rules
  • 69 final rules

One proposed rule concerning official time in federal sector cases before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was deemed significant under E.O. 12866—meaning that it could have large impacts on the economy, environment, public health, or state or local governments. Significant actions may also conflict with presidential priorities or other agency rules. The Trump administration in 2020 has issued 21 significant proposed rules and 28 significant final rules as of June 5.

Not all rules issued by the Trump administration are regulatory actions. Some rules are deregulatory actions pursuant to President Trump’s (R) Executive Order 13771, which requires federal agencies to eliminate two old significant regulations for each new significant regulation issued.

Ballotpedia maintains page counts and other information about the Federal Register as part of its Administrative State Project. The project is a neutral, nonpartisan encyclopedic resource that defines and analyzes the administrative state, including its philosophical origins, legal and judicial precedents, and scholarly examinations of its consequences. The project also monitors and reports on measures of federal government activity.

Additional reading:


OIRA reviewed 56 significant rules in May

The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) reviewed a total of 56 significant regulatory actions issued by federal agencies in May 2020. The agency approved 13 rules without changes and approved the intent of 40 rules while recommending changes to their content. Agencies withdrew three rules from the review process.

OIRA reviewed 36 significant regulatory actions in May 2019, 22 significant regulatory actions in May 2018, and four significant regulatory actions in May 2017. During the Obama administration from 2009-2016, OIRA reviewed an average of 46 significant regulatory actions each May.

OIRA has reviewed a total of 218 significant rules so far in 2020. The agency reviewed a total of 475 significant rules in 2019, 355 significant rules in 2018, and 237 significant rules in 2017.

As of June 1, 2020, OIRA’s website listed 139 regulatory actions under review.

OIRA is responsible for reviewing and coordinating what it deems to be all significant regulatory actions made by federal agencies, with the exception of independent federal agencies. Significant regulatory actions include agency rules that have had or may have a large impact on the economy, environment, public health, or state and local governments and communities. These regulatory actions may also conflict with other regulations or with the priorities of the president.

Every month, Ballotpedia compiles information about regulatory reviews conducted by OIRA. To view this project, click on the “learn more” button below.



Federal Register weekly update; smallest weekly final rule total since first week of January

The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity that includes presidential documents, proposed and final rules, and public notices. It is a common measure of an administration’s regulatory activity.

From May 25 to May 29, the Federal Register grew by 1,620 pages for a year-to-date total of 32,976 pages. Over the same period in 2019 and 2018, the Federal Register reached 25,492 pages and 25,544 pages, respectively. As of May 29, the 2020 total led the 2019 total by 7,484 pages and the 2018 total by 7,432 pages.

The Federal Register hit an all-time high of 95,894 pages in 2016.

This week’s Federal Register featured the following 459 documents:
• 383 notices
• six presidential documents
• 28 proposed rules
• 42 final rules

Two proposed rules concerning the federal recruitment and appointment of military spouses and emergency preparedness for certain nuclear reactors were deemed significant under E.O. 12866—meaning that they could have large impacts on the economy, environment, public health, or state or local governments. Significant actions may also conflict with presidential priorities or other agency rules. The Trump administration in 2020 has issued 20 significant proposed rules and 28 significant final rules as of May 29.

Not all rules issued by the Trump administration are regulatory actions. Some rules are deregulatory actions pursuant to President Trump’s (R) Executive Order 13771, which requires federal agencies to eliminate two old significant regulations for each new significant regulation issued.

Ballotpedia maintains page counts and other information about the Federal Register as part of its Administrative State Project. The project is a neutral, nonpartisan encyclopedic resource that defines and analyzes the administrative state, including its philosophical origins, legal and judicial precedents, and scholarly examinations of its consequences. The project also monitors and reports on measures of federal government activity.

Click here to find more information about weekly additions to the Federal Register in 2018 and 2017: https://ballotpedia.org/Changes_to_the_Federal_Register

Click here to find yearly information about additions to the Federal Register from 1936 to 2018: https://ballotpedia.org/Historical_additions_to_the_Federal_Register,_1936-2018



Trump executive order aims to protect procedural rights in agency adjudication

President Donald Trump (R) on May 19 issued an executive order aimed at providing regulatory relief to spur economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to targeted regulatory actions, the order also contains provisions that seek to promote economic recovery by safeguarding procedural rights and ensuring fairness in agency adjudication and enforcement.

The order puts forth what it deems a set of “principles of fairness in administrative enforcement and adjudication” and directs agencies to comply with the principles where appropriate as part of their pandemic response efforts. The principles include broad standards of promptness, fairness, and transparency in adjudication and enforcement proceedings as well as more specific procedural due process protections, such as requiring that adjudication be free from government coercion and that agency adjudicators be independent of enforcement staff. These principles build on Trump’s October 2019 Executive Order 13892, which aimed to curb what the order referred to as administrative abuses by requiring agencies to provide the public with fair notice of regulations.

“[President Trump] knows that what will jump-start the economy is not Big Government, but the American people,” said White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator Paul Ray in _The Washington Times_. “That’s why this president is fighting the economic emergency by returning even more liberty to the people.”

Some critics of the order expressed concern that agencies would respond by suspending regulatory enforcement altogether. “That’s the part that gives me the greatest concern, the idea of nonenforcement and telling agencies without any real basis or explanation that more lax enforcement will help us economically,” said Project on Government Oversight senior policy analyst Sean Moulton in _The Hill_.

Agency adjudication aims to resolve a dispute either between a federal agency and a private party or between two private parties. While some administrative law scholars claim that agency adjudication satisfies constitutional due process, others argue that certain adjudication procedures violate due process protections, such as the appearance of partiality in favor of agencies that results from the use of non-independent adjudicators.

Additional reading:



Federal Register weekly update; 2020 page total passes 31,000 pages

The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity that includes presidential documents, proposed and final rules, and public notices. It is a common measure of an administration’s regulatory activity.

From May 18 to May 22, the Federal Register grew by 1,766 pages for a year-to-date total of 31,356 pages. Over the same period in 2019 and 2018, the Federal Register reached 24,362 pages and 24,396 pages, respectively. As of May 22, the 2020 total led the 2019 total by 6,994 pages and the 2018 total by 6,930 pages.

The Federal Register hit an all-time high of 95,894 pages in 2016.

This week’s Federal Register featured the following 613 documents:
• 499 notices
• nine presidential documents
• 45 proposed rules
• 60 final rules
Two proposed rules concerning hazardous materials and debt collection and two final rules related to biofuels and remote sensing space systems were deemed significant under E.O. 12866—meaning that they could have large impacts on the economy, environment, public health, or state or local governments. Significant actions may also conflict with presidential priorities or other agency rules. The Trump administration in 2020 has issued 18 significant proposed rules and 28 significant final rules as of May 22.

Not all rules issued by the Trump administration are regulatory actions. Some rules are deregulatory actions pursuant to President Trump’s (R) Executive Order 13771, which requires federal agencies to eliminate two old significant regulations for each new significant regulation issued.

Ballotpedia maintains page counts and other information about the Federal Register as part of its Administrative State Project. The project is a neutral, nonpartisan encyclopedic resource that defines and analyzes the administrative state, including its philosophical origins, legal and judicial precedents, and scholarly examinations of its consequences. The project also monitors and reports on measures of federal government activity.

Click here to find more information about weekly additions to the Federal Register in 2018 and 2017.

Click here to find yearly information about additions to the Federal Register from 1936 to 2018.



Bitnami