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Rulemaking and Clientele Groups Essay

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Updated: Dec 19th, 2019


The process of rule making is critical in the creation and promulgation of regulations. In the process, independent agencies and the executive play influential roles (Copeland, 2010: 2-6). Generally, legislatures take the initial steps of setting broad policy mandates through passing statutes.

Subsequently, other agencies formulate detailed regulations using the rule-making process. This aspect implies that different groups are accorded the opportunity to influence the rulemaking process.

Clientele groups and rulemaking

Various clientele groups have different agendas that they seek to promote (Denhardt, 2010:117). Some groups such as those based on scientific practice play a significant role in the rule-making process. As an illustration, in the 20th century, scientific-oriented agencies have borne unrivaled influence in the process of rule making.

This became necessary since such aspects as environmental protection, workplace safety, food security, etc gained prominence during this period. Although it is evident that various clientele groups play crucial roles, allegations that such agencies have compromised transparency and accountability persist.

It is indisputable that executive rule making is on the decline. This is based on the realization that the executive has been relegated to rule execution (Copeland, 2010: 2-6).

Since the current scope of modern regulations is diverse, legislatures often find several obstacles when developing and enacting laws. They thus require expert opinion from specialized agencies. Concisely, such demands necessitate the involvement of agencies in the rule-making process.

For keen observers, it is easy to note that the rule-making process is designed towards ensuring that certain aspects are met. Such include informing the public regarding the proposed rule/s, allowing the public to comment on the rule/s, and offering the public an opportunity to access previous rulemaking records in order analyze the rule/s that are proposed (Copeland, 2004: 2-10).

In addition, the process is intended to offer an agency the time that is required to respond to the comments raised by the public. After carrying out the above tasks, agencies maintain the records of the rulemaking process. Although the agencies draw the final rule document, the rules made are subject to review by courts to ensure that the correct procedural guidelines were followed.

Reviewing the various rulemaking stages

In order to get a clearer picture regarding the influence of clientele groups in the rulemaking process, it is imperative to consider the whole process. Under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C.Β§551, et seq the following steps are involved, legislation, advance notice of the proposed rulemaking, proposed rule, public comment, final rule, judicial review and effective date (Copeland, 2004: 2-10).

Under the legislation step, Copeland (2004: 2-10) observes that the US Congress may pass a law that contains an organic statute creating new administrative agencies. In this step, the Congress outlines the goals and the objectives an agency should pursue.

However, the Congress may arrogate the rulemaking responsibilities to an existing agency. Often a pre-existing agency has its mission. As such, it is likely that such agency would tailor responsibilities that support its mission. Based on this, the agency in question could ply a role in influencing the rulemaking process greatly.

Regarding the issuance of Advance Notice concerning proposed rulemaking, the initial analysis on the issue at hand by an agency is done (Beermann, 2010: 70). The step entails collecting public views. As such, parties that could be potentially affected by the rule are given a chance to voice any concerns. This step typically allows different clientele groups to influence the rulemaking exercise.

The proposed rule step entails publishing of the proposed regulation in the Federal Register. In this stage, a discussion ensues to analyze and justify the proposed rule. The next stage pertains to public comment. In this stage, the agency’s response to public comments is also included in the rule. It is clear that two groups are playing various roles at this stage.

First, the public influences rule making by commenting on proposals while the agency filters such comments and incorporates them. It should however be noted that the public could be divided into a number of groups. By way of illustration, taking a broad category, the US public could be divided into republicans and democrats, Catholics and Protestants, African Americans and White Americans, etc.

This indicates that several groups may present conflicting views on an issue. However, the main point lies on the idea that rulemaking is dependent on a number of clientele groups.

In most instances, the final rule does not deviate from the proposed rule as the final rule stage demonstrates (Mckevitt and Lawton, 2008: 229). The agency publishes the rule and introduces minor modifications in the process. At this stage, the agency includes all responses based on the public comments.

If major changes are made in the final rule, interest groups and the public at large are given an opportunity to respond. Failure to do so, the rule is codified into the Federal Regulations Code. In the next stage, the judicial review, only takes place if some groups are dissatisfied and files lawsuits to challenge the rule/s made. The stage of effective date allows for solving any issues before the rule/s take effect.


Based on the evidence presented in this paper, rulemaking is an open or all-inclusive process. Thus, it allows interested groups opportunities to voice views at different stages. When raising different views, the various groups are able to alter or influence the direction that the rulemaking process takes.

Reference List

Beermann, Jack M. Administrative Law. (Colorado: Aspen Publishers, 2010).

Copeland, Curtis W. Unified Agenda: Implications for Rulemaking Transparency and Participation. (Darby, PA 19023-0617: DIANE Publishing, 2010).

Copeland, Curtis W. The federal rulemaking process: an overview. (Washington: Congressional Research Service, 2004).

Denhardt, Robert B. Theories of Public Organization. (Florence, KY 41022- 6904: Cengage Learning, 2010).

Mckevitt David and Alan Lawton. Public Sector Management Theory, Critique and Practice. (Los Angeles: SAGE publication, 2008).

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Rulemaking and Clientele Groups." December 19, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/rulemaking-and-clientele-groups/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Rulemaking and Clientele Groups'. 19 December.

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