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Code of Federal Regulations

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  • Code of Federal Regulations

    My question concerns the CFR and finding the history (when/how/by who) of regulations contained in it. It is my understanding that regulations contained in the CFR are not 'laws', but rules published by agencies. I am trying to find out when and how the regulations get published and if there is any way to undo any regulations that govern Federal agencies.

  • #2
    I believe this resource covers your curiosity:

    A shorter answer:
    Many laws authorize various federal agencies, all organized under the Executive Branch of our government, to decide on, promulgate, and enforce various forms of regulations. These regulations are published in the Federal Register as the Code of Federal Regulations. Most aspects of daily life in America--whether driving on a highway or shopping at the grocery store--are impacted in ways large and small by regulations.

    The process of passing regulations takes time because the agency will provide notice of rule making, at which point they share their proposed regulation; the agency allows a period of time for comments from everyone who wishes to share their comments; after reviewing the comments, the agency will publish a final rule, including any revisions from the proposal, including a summary of the comments received and how those comments were addressed. The rule, from the proposal stage, indicates which CFR section it affects; after the publication of the final rule in the Federal Register, the Code of Federal Regulations is updated, incorporating the new rule.

    Since the agencies have statutory authority to create those rules, and because affected persons are bound by those rules, they do have the force of law (such that failure to follow the rules may result in legal consequences).

    As far as I know, there are 2 ways to undo a federal agency regulation:
    1. create another regulation that rescinds a prior regulation, or
    2. under the Congressional Review Act, Congress decides that the rule exceeds the scope of the agency's authority or is unconstitutional in some way, and can essentially void the rule:

    Let me know if you have any more questions or would like some more information on this topic.