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PS 530: Seminar in Administrative Law

Dr. David Haynes.

Federal Regulatory Resources

The Federal Register. Published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents. It is freely available from the FDsys database (1994-present) in two formats, one being the "traditional" daily issue (albeit electronically) and a friendlier Federal Register 2.0 version. This publication is also available via NMU's subscription to Westlaw Campus (1981-present). A more detailed explanation of what is in this publication and how it is organized can be found here.

  • In citing the Federal Register give the name of the section, the identifying agency report numbers, volume, issue, date and page number(s). The section name should include what action is represented. For example, "Upper Peninsula Power Company; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Document and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests" 73 Federal Register 34 (20 February 2008), pp 9316-9317.

The Code of Federal Regulations. The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) annual edition is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation. The electronic version is updated often. Each title is divided into chapters, which usually bear the name of the issuing agency. Each chapter is further subdivided into parts that cover specific regulatory areas. Large parts may be subdivided into subparts. All parts are organized in sections, and most citations in the CFR are provided at the section level. The CFR is freely available from the Govinfo database (1996 to present), and via NMU's subscription through Westlaw Campus. A more detailed explanation of what is in this publication and how it is organized can be found here.

  • In citing the CFR, use the title, part number and edition. For example: "Passenger vessel financial responsibility" Title 46 Code of Federal Regulations, Pt 540, 2008 ed.

List of CFR Sections Affected. The List of CFR Sections Affected (LSA) lists proposed, new, and amended Federal regulations that have been published in the Federal Register since the most recent revision date of a Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) title. Each LSA issue is cumulative and contains the CFR part and section numbers, a description of its status (e.g., amended, confirmed, revised), and the Federal Register page number where the change(s) may be found. Available via FDsys (1997-present). The LSA is issued monthly; however, the LSA also contains three supplemental services:

List of CFR Parts Affected Today: Lists the CFR parts affected by change(s) appearing in most current issue Federal Register. The Federal Register is published Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Current List of CFR Parts Affected: Lists the CFR parts affected by change(s) since the last monthly issue of the LSA.

Last Month's List of CFR Parts Affected: Lists only the CFR parts affected by change(s) during the last month.

All three of the above are rolled into one search via FDsys.

The Unified Agenda. The Unified Agenda (also known as the Semiannual Regulatory Agenda), published twice a year (usually in April and October) in the Federal Register (FR), summarizes the rules and proposed rules that each Federal agency expects to issue during the next year. Available from the General Services Administration and FDSys. A more detailed explanation of the Unified Agenda can be found here. Each agency's website most likely has announcements of rule changes and an explanation of the rulemaking process within that agency. A search in USA.gov for "The Rulemaking Process" will return federal (and state) resources.

Executive Branch Resources from the GPO . Includes the previous regulatory links as well as Presidential documents (including Daily & Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, and Public Papers of the President) and Executive Publications. The Library of Congress has a more detailed list of Executive Branch websites. Within the White House is the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Regulations.gov. A resource created in 2003 for the public to easily search for proposed regulations and comment on them. You can sign up for alerts about a specific regulation and subscribe to RSS feeds by agency of newly posted Federal Register notices. Two non-government sites that are similar and arguably easier to use are OpenRegs.com and GovPulse.us (contains more supplemental information than OpenRegs and reproduces the entry in the Federal Register).

RegInfo.gov. Complimentary to Regulations.gov, but aimed more for federal government agencies. Avaiable here is the "Reg Map", a chart showing the informal rulemaking process.

Additional Resources--Federal

Government Accountatbilty Office reports on Federal Agency Major Rules. The Government Accountability Office provides a report to the Committees of Jurisdiction of both houses of Congress on major rules proposed by Federal Agencies within 15 days of the receipt of a copy of the rule at the Government Accountability Office or publication in the Federal Register, whichever is later. The reports on this website are in letter format and are arranged by date of issuance, most recent first.

Congressional Research Service. The Naval Postgraduate School library has a list of websites hosting these reports, which will often cover topics of current interest in Congress.

The U.S. Government Manual. The official handbook of the federal government. Appendix C lists those agencies appearing in the Code of Federal Regulations. Available online or in print. USA.gov has an A-Z list of departments and agencies--agency specific material can be located via that search engine as well as in the Catalog of Government Publications (run a search for your topic or agency).

Explore GovDocs--Federal Government. A search engine from the University of Michigan. Can be filtered by sub-topic or you can run a specific search for a topic. Not all resources will be available (some are specific to UM).

Congressional Budget Office. List of publications on regulatory analysis.

USA.gov. The official web portal of the U.S. Government. Search not only federal, but state and local government domains as well.

OMB Watch.org. One of many government watchdog sites.

Michigan Regulatory Resources

Michigan Administrative Code. From the State Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules (SOAHR). Created in 2005 to provide an accessible, streamlined rulemaking process. The rulemaking process is described as well as links to recent and pending rule changes and latest rule activity.

Michigan Register. The comprehensive source of regulatory information that complements and supplements the Michigan Administrative Code. It contains copies of all proposed administrative rules, notices of public hearings on proposed administrative rules, and administrative rules filed with the secretary of state as submitted by Michigan departments and agencies.

State of Michigan Executive Branch. The Governor, Lt. Governor, and State of Michigan Departments.

Additional Resources--Michigan

The Mackinac Center A conservative think tank. From their website: "a nonpartisan research and educational institute devoted to improving the quality of life for all Michigan citizens by promoting sound solutions to state and local policy questions."

Gongwer News Service. Michigan state government news and political information since 1906. NMU doesn not have a subscription, but you can get a hint at what's happening.

MLive.com--Politics. The political section of "Michigan's Leading Web Site for News, Information and Community Interaction".

Explore GovDocs--Michigan Government . A search engine from the University of Michigan. Can be filtered by sub-topic or you can run a specific search for a topic. Not all resources will be available (some are specific to UM).

Selected Resources on Rule Promulgation and Regulatory Public Hearings.

The Centralization of Michigan's Administrative Law Hearings.

Rule Promulgation Flowchart from the Michigan Center for Educational Networking. Indicative of the process in Michigan. At the Federal level, there is RegInfo's RegMap.

Midnight Rulemaking: Shedding Some Light. (Hearing before the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Eleventh Congress, first session, February 4, 2009.

Federal Rulemaking: Improvements Needed to Monitoring and Evaluation of Rules Development as Well as to the Transparency of OMB Regulatory Reviews. GAO, 2009.

Rulemaking process and the unitary executive theory. Hearing before the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Tenth Congress, second session, May 6, 2008.

Federal Rulemaking: Perspectives on 10 Years of Congressional Review Act Implementation. GAO, 2006.

Federal Regulatory Reform: An Overview. Congressional Research Service, 2004.

Additional resources can be found in Westlaw Campus.


NMU maintains 4 online guides for the most common forms of styles. Look under "Citing Your Sources" on the left hand side of the library homepage.

For further assistance, contact the Olson Library reference desk (live chat is instantly available from this link) and/or Bruce Sarjeant. If you wish to see additional resources on this course guide, please let me know.

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