Bulletin #46     Rule Making                                          12/23/2005


Did You Know: Did you know that there is an entirely separate way of adopting federal “law” other than by bills proposed in Congress?  It’s called “federal rulemaking”.


When Congress adopts a bill and the President signs it into law, it may contain language that specifies that a particular federal agency or and “head” of that agency may develop “policies”, or “rules” in order to more fully implement the federal statute.


Generally speaking, these “rules”, after being officially adopted, are codified in the “Code of Federal Regulations”. 


You can check on these “rules” at the Internet site for Code of Federal Regulations:  http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html and http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/about.html


Once adopted, the regulations have the full force and effect of law, just as a statute does.


The public has an opportunity to influence the adoption of statutes by lobbying Congress.  The public also has an opportunity to influence the adoption of regulations by submitting “comment” to the agency involved in adopting the regulation.


The government’s website has a page that allows you to find out what agencies have regulations being proposed and to find out how to comment upon them. 

It is http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main


The Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents. It is updated daily.   You can find out more by going to the following link:



As the government’s website notes:

Each issue of the Federal Register is organized into four categories:

  • Presidential Documents, including Executive orders and proclamations
  • Rules and Regulations, including policy statements and interpretations of rules
  • Proposed Rules, including petitions for rulemaking and other advance proposals
  • Notices, including scheduled hearings and meetings open to the public, grant applications, and administrative orders

Documents published in the Federal Register as rules and proposed rules include citations to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to refer readers to the CFR parts affected.

It is extremely important to know how all state and federal laws are adopted, including their implementing “administrative regulations”, such as the federal “rules”, “policies”, and “code of federal regulations”.

Now that Sec. 522 of the Defense Bill hr1815/s1042 (just passed) allows the “Secretary of Defense” to develop a “policy” regarding homeschoolers enlisting in the military, presumably the Secretary will follow federal rulemaking procedures in developing this “policy”.  If so, that means that there may be a time in which the Secretary will officially publish, in the federal register, the “policy”, and there may be a specific period of time in which the public may “comment” on that policy.  Assuming there is widespread “comment”, this will offer the public a good opportunity to influence how that “policy” will be worded.  A note of caution, however, the Secretary is also free to disregard the public comment. 

In any event, everyone should be aware of this process and remain vigilant to the language as it is proposed.

With regard to the aforementioned Defense Bill, the final language, sent to us by Senator Santorum’s office, which was adopted regarding military recruitment of homeschoolers, is as follows:

(a) Policy on Recruitment and Enlistment.--
(1) POLICY REQUIRED.--The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe a policy on the recruitment and enlistment of home-schooled students in the Armed Forces.

(2) UNIFORMITY ACROSS THE ARMED FORCES.--The Secretary shall ensure that the policy prescribed under paragraph (1) applies, to the extent practicable, uniformly across the Armed Forces.

(b) Elements.--The policy under subsection (a) shall include the following:
(1) An identification of a graduate of home schooling for purposes of recruitment and enlistment in the Armed Forces that is in accordance with the requirements described in subsection (c).

(2) A communication plan to ensure that the policy described in subsection (c) is understood by recruiting officials of all the Armed Forces, to include field recruiters at the lowest level of command.

(3) An exemption of graduates of home schooling from the requirement for a secondary school diploma or an equivalent (GED) as a precondition for enlistment in the Armed Forces.

(c) Home School Graduates.--In prescribing the policy under subsection (a), the Secretary of Defense shall prescribe a single set of criteria to be used by the Armed Forces in determining whether an individual is a graduate of home schooling. The Secretary concerned shall ensure compliance with education credential coding requirements.

(d) Secretary Concerned Defined.--In this section, the term ``Secretary concerned'' has the meaning given such term in section 101(a)(9) of title 10, United States Code.

For more information on this bill and other proposed and adopted federal legislation which mentions homeschooling please visit http://www.nheld.com/fedleg.htm



Attorney Deborah Stevenson - Executive Director of National Home Education Legal Defense. – www.nheld.com or email : info@nheld.com

Judy Aron - Director of Research, NHELD – imjfaron@sbcglobal.net