Good Cause Exception to Notice and Comment Rulemaking: Judicial Review of Agency Action [January 29, 2016] [open pdf - 623KB]
From the Summary: "While the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) generally requires agencies to follow certain procedures when promulgating rules, the statute's 'good cause' exception permits agencies to forgo Section 553's notice and comment requirement if 'the agency for good cause finds' that compliance would be 'impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest' and bypass its 30-day publication requirement if good cause exists. Federal courts reviewing this agency practice have varied in their analysis, resulting in confusion as to precisely what constitutes 'good cause.' In addition, some courts have indicated that these are two distinct standards; others do not always distinguish between the two. What precisely constitutes good cause is not explicit from the APA's text. In order to understand the operation of the good cause exception, it may be helpful to divide good cause cases into several categories: (1) emergencies; (2) contexts where prior notice would subvert the underlying statutory scheme; and (3) situations where Congress intends to waive Section 553's requirements."
CRS Report for Congress, R44356
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html