Adding Public Engagement Upstream

June 2, 2023

Originally published in the Yale JREG Notice & Comment blog

Public notice of regulatory proposals, with an opportunity for public comment, has long been part of the federal regulatory process in the U.S., and I hope it always will be. Public comments inform regulatory choices at agencies, and often shed light on the benefits, costs, and unintended consequences of regulatory proposals. Our regulatory system is stronger because the public has an opportunity to comment on proposed rules before they become law, and because agencies are bound by law to consider those comments.

Public participation is a source of great anxiety for those who worry about possible democratic deficiencies of rulemaking. If these deficiencies exist, some would say that the administrative state must overcome them by infusing its regulatory apparatus with public participation.

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