regulation


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Regulation

A rule of order having the force of law, prescribed by a superior or competent authority, relating to the actions of those under the authority's control.

Regulations are issued by various federal government departments and agencies to carry out the intent of legislation enacted by Congress. Administrative agencies, often called "the bureaucracy," perform a number of different government functions, including rule making. The rules issued by these agencies are called regulations and are designed to guide the activity of those regulated by the agency and also the activity of the agency's employees. Regulations also function to ensure uniform application of the law.

Administrative agencies began as part of the Executive Branch of government and were designed to carry out the law and the president's policies. Congress, however, retains primary control over the organization of the bureaucracy, including the power to create and eliminate agencies and confirm presidential nominations for staffing the agencies. Congress has also created administrative agencies that exist outside of the executive branch and are independent of presidential control. President franklin d. roosevelt and the New Deal plan he implemented created many new administrative agencies. Over the years administrative agencies have become more powerful participants in the overall federal government structure as Congress and the president have delegated more legislative and executive duties to them. Administrative agencies have also become responsible for many judicial functions.

The judicial and legislative functions of administrative agencies are not exactly like those of the courts or the legislature, but they are similar. Because regulations are not the work of the legislature, they do not have the effect of law in theory; but in practice, regulations can have an important effect in determining the outcome of cases involving regulatory activity. Much of the legislative power vested in administrative agencies comes from the fact that Congress can only go so far in enacting legislation or establishing guidelines for the agencies to follow. Language that is intrinsically vague and cannot speak for every factual situation to which it is applied, as well as political factors, dictate that the agencies have much to interpret and decide in enforcing legislation. For example, Securities laws prohibit insiders from profiting against the public interest, but it is left to the applicable Administrative Agency, the Securities and Exchange Commission, to define "public interest." The Food and Drug Administration, another administrative agency, must keep unsafe food and ineffective drug products off the market, but further administrative refinement and interpretation is necessary for the agency to determine what products are "unsafe" or "ineffective." The Federal Communications Commission must interpret laws regulating broadcasting; the Treasury Department issues regulations interpreting the Internal Revenue Code; and the Board of Governors of the federal reserve System issues regulations governing the actions of Federal Reserve banks. The many other administrative agencies and departments make regulations to provide clarity and guidance in their respective areas of the law.

Administrative agencies carry out legislation in several ways, including enacting regulations to carry out what the agency believes is the legislative intent. Agencies generally formulate proposed regulations and then open up rule-making proceedings in which interested parties can testify and comment on them. The agency then issues a rule or policy that binds the agency in future cases just as statutory law does.

The Administrative Procedure Act of 1946, 5 U.S.C.A. § 551 et seq., with its subsequent amendments, was designed to make administrative agencies accountable for their rule making and other government functions. It imposed a number of procedural requirements designed to make procedures among agencies more uniform. In administrative rule-making proceedings formal hearings must be held, interested parties must be given the opportunity to comment on proposed rules, and the adopted formal rules must be published in the Federal Register. After being published in the Federal Register, the regulations are subsequently arranged by subject in the Code of Federal Regulations. The Administrative Procedure Act has been criticized, however, because it contains a number of exemptions that allow the agencies discretion in whether or not they strictly adhere to the guidelines established in the act. Organizations such as the American Bar Association are working toward eliminating such discretion in administrative agencies.

Further readings

Janosik, Robert J., ed. 1987. Encyclopedia of the American Judicial System. Vol. II. New York: Scribner.

Cross-references

Administrative Agency; Administrative Law and Procedure; Code of Federal Regulations; Federal Register; Public Administrative Bodies; Quasi-Legislative.

regulation

(Management), noun adjustment, administration, arrangement, conduct, coordination, disposal, disposition, economy, government, guidance, handling, lawmaking, moderation, organization, steerage, superintendence, supervision, systematization

regulation

(Rule), noun act, bylaw, canon, code, command, commandment, decree, dictate, direction, discipline, edict, enactment, injunction, instruction, iussum, law, legislation, mandate, measure, order, praeceptum, precept, prescript, prescription, statute
Associated concepts: municipal regulation, reasonable reguuation, zoning regulation
See also: act, administration, bar, boiler plate, bureaucracy, bylaw, canon, check, codification, condition, constitution, control, criterion, custody, customary, dictate, direction, directive, discipline, disposition, edict, enactment, familiar, fiat, government, guidance, instruction, law, management, mandate, measure, moderation, order, ordinance, ordinary, precept, prescription, principle, quota, requirement, restriction, rubric, rule, statute, supervision, supremacy, writ

regulation

1 a form of Act of the EUROPEAN UNION that has general application. A regulation, unlike a decision, applies to more than an identifiable or defined limited number of persons. It is binding in its entirety, unlike a directive, which simply sets out the aim to be achieved. It is directly applicable and does not require to be subsequently enacted in a Member State. It can also have direct effect. Much of the implementation of the COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY is done in this way, and regulations are frequently very detailed, dealing with technical matters.
2 a form of delegated legislation in the UK.
References in classic literature ?
Under such a regulation, it may well happen that the public voice, pronounced by the representatives of the people, will be more consonant to the public good than if pronounced by the people themselves, convened for the purpose.
There's no regulation about it; there's no written law.
Thedora tells me that a retired civil servant of her acquaintance has a uniform to sell--one cut to regulation pattern and in good repair, as well as likely to go very cheap.
But pride-- where there is a real superiority of mind, pride will be always under good regulation.
On the contrary, when one aims a blow that is the regulation way to strike.
The captain surrendered the regulation of the march entirely to his discretion, and pushed on in the advance, amusing himself with hunting, so as generally to kill a deer or two in the course of the day, and arriving, before the rest of the party, at the spot designated by the guide for the evening's encampment.
No, in her uncle's house there would have been a consideration of times and seasons, a regulation of subject, a propriety, an attention towards everybody which there was not here.
Let me pass in Paris the time necessary for the regulation of my affairs, and accustom myself, by degrees, to the heavy and glittering idea which is beating in my brain and dazzles me.
A general meeting of the company was to be held annually at Columbia River, for the investigation and regulation of its affairs; at which absent members might be represented, and might vote by proxy under certain specified conditions.
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
Now those things in which a city should be one are of different sorts, and in preserving an alternate reciprocation of power between these, the safety thereof consists (as I have already mentioned in my treatise on Morals), for amongst freemen and equals this is absolutely necessary; for all cannot govern at the same time, but either by the year, or according to some other regulation or time, by which means every one in his turn will be in office; as if the shoemakers and carpenters should exchange occupations, and not always be employed in the same calling.
He was a gallant- looking fellow, wearing the regulation leopard-skin cloak.