The Administrative Procedure Act — Part of the Swamp or Moat?

Earlier this month on Who.What.Why, Christine Capozziello outlined several lawsuits that have been brought against federal agencies on the basis of violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).  Before your eyes completely glaze over, please note that the Freedom of Information Act amended the APA.

Capozziello asks, “What do the Department of Energy, the Department of Education, and Environmental Protection Agency have in common? They’ve all faced lawsuits for putting the brakes on Obama-era regulations.” Each of the agencies is being sued on the grounds that argues that the delay violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

In April, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued the Department of Energy; a total of six Obama-era energy efficiency standards were delayed and Schneiderman argued that the APA had been violated.

The same month, the Department of Labor came under fire for delaying a long-awaited rule that would significantly decrease the permissible exposure limit to silica dust for construction workers.

In early July, a federal court cancelled the EPA’s attempt to delay implementation for new regulations on methane emissions. In the same week, the attorneys general from 18 states and Washington D.C. sued Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for delaying borrower defense rules that were scheduled to take effect on July 1. In the same week, a federal court cancelled the EPA’s attempt to delay implementation for new regulations on methane emissions.

Those who wish to see the “Administrative State” dismantled likely see the delays as a needed push-back against the economic, political, and social costs on individuals and businesses by favored groups [see July 10 post]. Others see the regulations as the moat protecting those with less — or no — power against powerful individuals and businesses.

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