Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Burden on Public Participation

There is a very good piece by Cary Coglianese, noted administrative law scholar and founder of the site RegBlog, critiquing the FCC's weird proposal to require commenters to include in their filings "full copies" of materials they cite. Professor Coglianese's has focused a good deal of his scholarly work on increasing public participation in agency rulemaking proceedings, especially with respect to the opportunities enabled by e-rulemaking. He argues persuasively that the FCC's proposal doesn't make sense.

You should read his piece in its entirety, but here is his conclusion in the last paragraph:

"[B]y considering a requirement that public comments be accompanied by cited materials, the FCC deflects attention from the underlying concerns. The Commission’s suggested requirement, imposing a new burden on public participation, has things fundamentally backwards."