Avionics News September 2014 - 52

legislative

B Y
J A S O N
D I C K S T E I N
AEA GENERAL COUNSEL

A Supreme Court case could dictate
just how arbitrary the law can be

I

magine you live in a community with a pleasant homeowner's association. The association requires everyone
to paint their house a "reasonable" color. This is accepted
by the neighborhood to mean generally earthy tones. One
day, you wake up to discover the house across the street has
been painted bright red. When you contact the homeowner's
association board, their response is they have changed their
interpretation of "reasonable" to anything in the visible color
spectrum, without consulting anyone else in the neighborhood, and without giving any non-board member a chance to
argue otherwise. A case pending before the Supreme Court
may allow the Federal Aviation Administration and other government agencies to do exactly that, and it has the potential to
add significant costs to the industry.
One of the fundamental principles of law is that of legal
certainty, or put another way, predictability. This principle
holds that those persons who are subject to the law must be
able to understand the law, adjust their behavior
to comply with the law and avoid the
arbitrary exercise of government power against
them. A person must be
able to predict how police
or regulators will apply the
law so they may modify
their conduct accordingly.
In order to be predict-

52

avionics news

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september

2014

able, it is important that laws and regulations are not only
clear, but also reflect the actual reality of the context in which
they will apply. When federal regulations like the Federal
Aviation Regulations are created, the creation of those regulations is subject to the Administrative Procedures Act. One of
the most important elements of the APA requires that regulations are subject to a notice and comment process. This allows
the public to participate in the creation of the regulations, and
it helps ensure the regulations reflect the real world.
The notice and comment process requires the agency promulgating the regulation to provide notice to the public, and
accept and consider comments from the public regarding their
concerns and probable effects of the proposed regulation. Once
a regulation is enacted, an agency may further give color to that
regulation by means of interpretive rules and policy statements.
These interpretations explain to the public how the agency will
interpret and apply its rule, and the public generally may rely on
these interpretations to help guide its conduct.
This brings us to a case called Alaska
Hunters. Alaska Hunters
was an FAA case, but it
has been applied more
broadly against all federal government agencies.
Alaska Hunters explains the
requirements for when an
agency wants to amend one



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News September 2014

Point of Communication
AEA Now
The View from Washington
International News and Regulatory Updates
Software Management
Member Profile
Keeping a business in the family
Are digital avionics secure?
A Conversation With...
Meet the AEA board of directors
Before & After
The Autonomous Navigation Systems AET Endorsement
Aviation Aces
Legal Ease
Business Basics
Member Profile
AEA members unveil new ADS-B solutions at AirVenture
What's New
Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News September 2014 - Intro
Avionics News September 2014 - Cover1
Avionics News September 2014 - Cover2
Avionics News September 2014 - 1
Avionics News September 2014 - 2
Avionics News September 2014 - 3
Avionics News September 2014 - Point of Communication
Avionics News September 2014 - 5
Avionics News September 2014 - AEA Now
Avionics News September 2014 - 7
Avionics News September 2014 - 8
Avionics News September 2014 - 9
Avionics News September 2014 - 10
Avionics News September 2014 - 11
Avionics News September 2014 - 12
Avionics News September 2014 - 13
Avionics News September 2014 - The View from Washington
Avionics News September 2014 - 15
Avionics News September 2014 - International News and Regulatory Updates
Avionics News September 2014 - 17
Avionics News September 2014 - 18
Avionics News September 2014 - 19
Avionics News September 2014 - Software Management
Avionics News September 2014 - 21
Avionics News September 2014 - 22
Avionics News September 2014 - 23
Avionics News September 2014 - Member Profile
Avionics News September 2014 - 25
Avionics News September 2014 - 26
Avionics News September 2014 - 27
Avionics News September 2014 - Keeping a business in the family
Avionics News September 2014 - 29
Avionics News September 2014 - 30
Avionics News September 2014 - 31
Avionics News September 2014 - 32
Avionics News September 2014 - 33
Avionics News September 2014 - Are digital avionics secure?
Avionics News September 2014 - 35
Avionics News September 2014 - 36
Avionics News September 2014 - 37
Avionics News September 2014 - A Conversation With...
Avionics News September 2014 - 39
Avionics News September 2014 - Meet the AEA board of directors
Avionics News September 2014 - 41
Avionics News September 2014 - Before & After
Avionics News September 2014 - 43
Avionics News September 2014 - The Autonomous Navigation Systems AET Endorsement
Avionics News September 2014 - 45
Avionics News September 2014 - 46
Avionics News September 2014 - 47
Avionics News September 2014 - Aviation Aces
Avionics News September 2014 - 49
Avionics News September 2014 - 50
Avionics News September 2014 - 51
Avionics News September 2014 - Legal Ease
Avionics News September 2014 - 53
Avionics News September 2014 - 54
Avionics News September 2014 - 55
Avionics News September 2014 - 56
Avionics News September 2014 - 57
Avionics News September 2014 - Business Basics
Avionics News September 2014 - 59
Avionics News September 2014 - 60
Avionics News September 2014 - 61
Avionics News September 2014 - 62
Avionics News September 2014 - 63
Avionics News September 2014 - Member Profile
Avionics News September 2014 - 65
Avionics News September 2014 - AEA members unveil new ADS-B solutions at AirVenture
Avionics News September 2014 - 67
Avionics News September 2014 - 68
Avionics News September 2014 - 69
Avionics News September 2014 - 70
Avionics News September 2014 - 71
Avionics News September 2014 - What's New
Avionics News September 2014 - 73
Avionics News September 2014 - 74
Avionics News September 2014 - 75
Avionics News September 2014 - 76
Avionics News September 2014 - 77
Avionics News September 2014 - Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News September 2014 - 79
Avionics News September 2014 - 80
Avionics News September 2014 - Cover3
Avionics News September 2014 - Cover4
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