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Courts review administrative decision-making under the guidelines of the Administrative Procedure Act. Judicial review is intended to ensure that a rule is neither "arbitrary" nor "capricious," and that it does not exceed statutory authority. Under other APA tests, courts can review a decision to see if an agency followed legally required procedures and did not delay its action unreasonably.

If a rule fails to satisfy these tests and other statutory requirements, courts may "vacate" the rule and "remand" or send it back to the agency.

Among other things, courts have set aside rules if an agency failed to publish a Federal Register notice, failed to include mention of a significant subject covered in a final rule, failed to reference the legal authority under which the rule was being proposed, based its decision on criteria not allowed by the law governing the rule, or directly contravened the relevant statutory authority.


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