The Administrative State Has Run Amok

From: The Regulatory Review | A Publication of the Penn Program on Regulation


In my original essay, I encouraged the use of four regulatory best practices that, among others, could improve the regulatory work product from CPSC and agencies across the federal government. These included:

  1. Requiring honesty from agencies in their regulatory agendas, so that those who are not Washington insiders are not forced to comb through obscure agency documents to know how their tax dollars are being spent.

Regulatory Analysis Requirements Reduce Political Influence

From: Regulation and Governance

Regulatory Analysis Procedures and Political Influence on Bureaucratic Policymaking

Neal D. Woods


Well-known theories suggest that administrative procedures may be used as mechanisms of political control of the bureaucracy. This study investigates whether three common regulatory analysis procedures—cost-benefit analysis, risk assessment, and economic impact analysis—lead to greater influence by political officials on bureaucratic policymaking. Multivariate analyses of data from a unique survey of state administrators indicate that regulatory analysis requirements are associated with decreases in the perceived influence of elected political officials on the content of administrative rules. This association is particularly evident in cases where proposed rules are subjected to a cost–benefit test. These findings contradict prominent theories of administrative procedures, but are consistent with recent research on the political power of administrative agencies.

Sticky Regulations

From: SSRN

53 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2017

Aaron Nielson

Brigham Young University – J. Reuben Clark Law School


Administrative law is often said to present a dilemma. On one hand, all three branches of the federal government have crafted procedures to facilitate public participation in the regulatory process and to ensure that the benefits of regulations outweigh their costs. But on the other hand, such procedures have a price — they delay administrative action and sometimes thwart it altogether. In fact, marching under the banner of “ossification,” an entire literature has formed around the idea that there are too many procedures and that administrative law should be transformed to speed up the regulatory process.

The OIRA Hall of Fame Library: Introductions By Political Scientists, Historians, Economists and Sociologists

                                                                     June 2017

This publication is the first time in the nearly half century of centralized regulatory review that the treatises, Archives, Reference Library, Histories and continuous updates thereto (OIRA Hall of Fame Library) that lead its creation have been  made available in one location. These work products are being made available to researchers at no cost in order to provide a platform for their informing the American public of the impact that OIRA has on their daily activities. Hopefully current visitors to this website including Congressional and judicial staff, members of the press, federal regulators and a wide range of academic scholars will continue to benefit from the material presented herein.  Researchers are invited to visit the OIRA Reference Library which contains thousands of pages of source material on OIRA which is updated daily by CRE staff.

Restraining The Regulatory State

From: Regulation / Spring 2017

A Regulatory Review Office could help Congress determine if new rules are benefiting the public.



Comprehensive regulatory review cannot be left to the judiciary because of the costs and time required to litigate thousands of agency rules with all of the due process requirements as each challenged rule winds its way through the federal courts—a phenomenon all too familiar. Thus, the best solution to the problem of excesses in the agencies’ exercise of delegated regulatory authority is to allow Congress to undertake regulatory reviews and, where appropriate, undo some of this delegation.

Valuing Bureaucracy: The Case for Professional Government

From: Regulatory Pacesetters

Paul Verkuil, the former Chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States and a nationally recognized legal academician, has written a book highlighting the invaluable contributions and ever increasing significance of career civil servants.

The author makes a fundamental point regarding infrastructure. Yes, he argues, that the nation’s physical infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, are in need of repair but equally important is the need to rebuild the civil service infrastructure which delivers social security checks, Medicare, Medicaid, protection from terrorists and foreign enemies as well as clean air and clean water.

Requiring Formal Rulemaking Is a Thinly Veiled Attempt to Halt Regulation

From: The Regulatory Review

Professor Kent Barnett recently opined in The Regulatory Review that formal rulemaking really is not that bad and may actually be a good thing in certain circumstances. His argument deserves closer review because the proposed Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) would require the equivalent of formal rulemaking—or what the bill calls a “public hearing.” Barnett may well be right to suggest that in some situations the costs of formal rulemaking could be justified, but he could not be more wrong to argue that the circumstances that would trigger formal rulemaking under the RAA are among those situations.

Environmental NGOs Walking Timidly Up to the DQA Confessional

From: Bloomberg/Bureau of National Affairs

Scorned Law May Be Environmentalists’ Tool to Protect EPA Data

By Rachel Leven


Progressives have dismissed the Data Quality Act as a tool for industry groups to poke holes in information in government reports and reviews. But now the father of the law says environmentalists are quietly approaching him about the possibility of turning the law on a White House that has taken down information from the Environmental Protection Agency website, including a climate science page that stated, “It is extremely likely that human activities have been the dominant cause of the warming.”

Patience is still a virtue in the regulatory process

Editor’s Note: See, Regulatory Deossification Revisited.

From: Washington Examiner

by Jerry Ellig & Andrew M. Baxter


Like rumors of Mark Twain’s death, tales of a decades-long regulatory slowdown have been greatly exaggerated. And for the important regulations, investing some extra time is exactly what we should be doing to make sure we get the decisions right.

The Regulatory Accountability Act, Or: How Progressives Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Cost-Benefit Analysis

Editor’s Note: A simple route to ensuring both cost-benefit analysis and accountability for the results is by establishing a regulatory budget.

From: Yale Notice & Comment | A Blog from the Yale Journal on Regulation and the ABA Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice

by Jonathan Masur