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The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) compiles regulations promulgated by various regulatory agencies — part of the executive branch. But that regulatory power is grounded in legislative power. At some point, some Congress — drunk or sober —passed a law enabling the agency to make such a rule.

And sometimes, reading through the laws, you want to know more than what the rule currently is. You want to know where it came from. You want to know…

Who authorized this?!

So, as one of the basic features of the CFR we provide hyperlinks from each regulation to the point in the U.S. Code which provides the basis for its rule-making authority. This week we restored those links to the eCFR text.

Here’s an example. According to federal regulations, schools can’t share your grades with your parents once you’re a grown-up, which is how you managed to keep that D+ in History 101 from Daddy (thank goodness!). But who said they could do that? If you look at the hyperlinks for “authority”, you’ll get to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (with various later amendments). So before 1974, that D+ was fair game, which was why Grandaddy grounded Daddy for a month that one time.

Of course there are a bunch of nitpicky details to take care of in order to mark up the authorities correctly. More on that soon.


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