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[personal profile] strix_alba
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southernslytherin:

ok tumblr, you seem interested in political activism, so we’re going to have a little lesson in administrative law and how you can force the Trump administration to listen to you for the next four years. 

To condense a semester-long law school course into a blog post: Congress delegates significant quasi-legislative power to administrative agencies, e.g. the EPA. These agencies have a great deal of power to shape your everyday life, but our system of civics education is so abysmal that, chances are, you have no idea what kind of power you hold to shape their decisions.

Administrative agencies have to navigate a maze of laws and procedures in order for the rules they make to be effective and binding. These laws and procedures mean that there plenty of ways the agencies can mess up, and when they do, opponents of a rule can bring legal challenges and invalidate it. (This is frustrating for agencies, but delightfully fun for antagonistic nerds like me.)

When an agency wants to create an informal rule, it has to go through a process called “notice and comment.” Basically, the agency announces a proposed rule and permits the public to submit comments on it. The public includes you. 

When the comment period is over, the agency has to take the comments into account and justify its ultimate decision on the proposed rule in light of the comments. If you submit substantive, meaningful comments that challenge the policy or evidence behind a rule, and the agency fails to acknowledge them and explain its reasoning for its final decision, the rule can be challenged and invalidated.

So how do you comment on proposed rules? This lovely little site called regulations.gov. Really, it’s that easy! You can search for topics that interest you and submit your comments online. And you can do it anonymously! 

So please, check the website frequently and comment when it matters to you, so that your voice can be heard and Trump’s agencies have to acknowledge your perspective. If they fail to take your comments into consideration and disregard the American people, they’ll have to answer for it in court.

Keep calling your representatives and senators about Bannon and the policy issues that concern you, but remember this little lesson in admin law when he takes office.

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strix alba

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