Guest blogger Maureen Whelan reminisces about some REALLY rigorous regulations.
The agencies of the U.S. Government issue nearly 8,000 regulations each year, but whenever I hear people talking about tough Government regulations, I think to myself that they don’t know what “tough” really is. When I was in high school, I attended an all-girls parochial school. We had a list of rules and regulations that every student needed to follow to avoid detention. They ranged from clothing restrictions to discipline, conduct, and behavior matters. There were several degrees of punishment for violators, from the two hours after school type to the dreaded, all-day Saturday detention with the School Sisters of Notre Dame. One of my friends once received a Saturday detention on the weekend prior to graduation for speeding around the school campus during our senior motorcade. Even today, I’m sure that she would rather have violated Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (Transportation, Subpart B 365.201 through 365.205, Motor Carriers of Property or Passengers, process on how to Oppose Requests for Authority) than oppose the rulings of our Vice Principal!
Seriously, though, the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is definitely the most comprehensive official source for all kinds of proposed and final Government regulations. It’s a great research tool, and there are some really good informational tools at the Office of the Federal Register Web site to help you understand how to use it. I think it’s also an unlikely but important symbol of our democracy, because any concerned citizen can access the rule-making process via the CFR, and that’s what open government is about.
You can browse the CFR here or acquire either single volumes or a subscription here. You can also locate the CFR at a Federal depository library. Best of all, none of these sources will give you detention!