Agencies Don’t Treat All Comments Equally. Nor Should They.

Editor’s Note: It’s the quality of comments that matters, not the quantity. The study, “Do U.S. Regulators Listen to the Public? Testing the Regulatory Process with the RegRank Algorithm” asserts “that the government adjusts its final rules almost entirely in response to comments from industry insiders.” Unfortunately, the study does not examine the quality of the comments being considered by the agency. A comment which raises a substantive issue, such a violation of a “good government law” that regulates the regulator, needs to be taken in consideration to a far greater extent than a simple cheer or boo for a proposed regulation—no matter how heartfelt.