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Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that, pursuant to Executive Order 13777 and his November memorandum prohibiting certain guidance documents, he is rescinding 25 such documents that were unnecessary, inconsistent with existing law, or otherwise improper.
In making the announcement, the Attorney General said:
“Last month, I ended the longstanding abuse of issuing rules by simply publishing a letter or posting a web page. Congress has provided for a regulatory process in statute, and we are going to follow it. This is good government and prevents confusing the public with improper and wrong advice.”
“Therefore, any guidance that is outdated, used to circumvent the regulatory process, or that improperly goes beyond what is provided for in statutes or regulation should not be given effect. That is why today, we are ending 25 examples of improper or unnecessary guidance documents identified by our Regulatory Reform Task Force led by our Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand. We will continue to look for other examples to rescind, and we will uphold the rule of law.”
In March, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13777, which calls for agencies to establish Regulatory Reform Task Forces, chaired by a Regulatory Reform Officer, to identify existing regulations for potential repeal, replacement, or modification. The Department of Justice Task Force, chaired by Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, began its work in May.
On November 17, the Attorney General issued a memorandum prohibiting DOJ components from using guidance documents to circumvent the rulemaking process and directed Associate Attorney General Brand to work with components to identify guidance documents that should be repealed, replaced, or modified.
The Task Force has already identified 25 guidance documents for repeal and is continuing its review of existing guidance documents to repeal, replace, or modify.
The list of 25 guidance documents that DOJ has withdrawn in 2017 is as follows: