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 The Supreme Court has long recognized that a federal agency is obliged to abide by the regulations it promulgates. See Vitarelli v. Seaton, 359 U.S. 535, 545, 3 L. Ed. 2d 1012, 79 S. Ct. 968 (1959); Service v. Dulles, 354 U.S. 363, 372, 1 L. Ed. 2d 1403, 77 S. Ct. 1152 (1957); Accardi v. Shaughnessy, 347 U.S. 260, 267, 98 L. Ed. 681, 74 S. Ct. 499 (1954). An agency's failure to follow its own regulations 'tends to cause unjust discrimination and deny adequate notice' and consequently may result in a violation of an individual's constitutional right to due process. NLRB v. Welcome-American Fertilizer Co., 443 F.2d 19, 20 (9th Cir. 1971); see also United States v. Newell, 578 F.2d 827, 834 (9th Cir. 1978). Where a prescribed procedure is intended to protect the interests of a party before the agency, 'even though generous beyond the requirements that bind such agency, that procedure must be scrupulously observed.' Vitarelli, 359 U.S. at 547 (Frankfurter, J., concurring); see also Note, Violations by Agencies of Their Own Regulations, 87 Harv. L. Rev. 629, 630 (1974) (observing that agency violations of regulations promulgated to provide parties with ...

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