National Mining Association v. Chao
United States District Court for the District of Columbia
160 F. Supp. 2d 47 (2001)
The Black Lung Benefits Act (the act) provided benefits to coal miners who were disabled by black lung disease. The United States Department of Labor (the department) (defendant) was authorized to enact regulations governing the act. In 1997 the government notified the public that it was considering revisions to the act’s regulations. The department allowed the public to submit evidence and comments regarding the proposed revisions. The department hired expert consultants to write reports summarizing the evidence and, after reviewing those reports, enacted the proposed revisions. A group of associations representing the coal-mining industry (the plaintiff associations) (plaintiffs) filed a lawsuit in federal district court seeking to enjoin the revisions. The plaintiff associations argued that the revisions violated the notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements imposed by the Administrative Procedure Act, because the department had relied on the expert consultants’ summaries without making them publicly available. The department moved for summary judgment, arguing that it had followed the notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Sullivan, J.)
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