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Generally speaking, 5 U.S.C. § 553 (1976 ed.) establishes the maximum procedural requirements that Congress was willing to have the courts impose upon federal agencies in conducting rulemaking proceedings, and while agencies are free to grant additional procedural rights in the exercise of their discretion, reviewing courts are generally not free to impose them if the agencies have not chosen to grant them. And, even apart from the APA, the formulation of procedures should basically be left within the discretion of the agencies to which Congress has confided the responsibility for substantive judgments. 


In 1946, Congress enacted the Administrative Procedure Act, which was not only 'a new, basic and comprehensive regulation of procedures in many agencies,' Won Yang Sung v. McGrath, 339 U. S. 33 (195), but was also a legislative enactment which settled 'long-continued and hard-fought contentions, and enacts a formula upon which opposing social and political forces have come to rest.' Id. at 339 U. S. 40. Section 4 of the Act, 5 U.S.C. § 553 (1976 ed.), dealing with rulemaking, requires in subsection (b) that 'notice of proposed rule making shall be published in the Federal Register . . . ,' describes ...

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