Lincoln v. Vigil, 508 U.S. 182, 16 (1993)

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Cite as: 508 U. S. 182 (1993)

Opinion of the Court

ing whether an agency's statement is what the APA calls a "rule" can be a difficult exercise. We need not conduct that exercise in this case, however. For even assuming that a statement terminating the Program would qualify as a "rule" within the meaning of the APA, it would be exempt from the notice-and-comment requirements of 553.7 Termination of the Program might be seen as affecting the Service's organization, but "rules of agency organization" are exempt from notice-and-comment requirements under 553(b)(A). Moreover, 553(b)(A) also exempts "general statements of policy," which we have previously described as " 'statements issued by an agency to advise the public prospectively of the manner in which the agency proposes to exercise a discretionary power.' " Chrysler Corp., supra, at 302, n. 31 (quoting Attorney General's Manual on the Administrative Procedure Act 30, n. 3 (1947)). Whatever else may be considered a "general statemen[t] of policy," the term surely includes an announcement like the one before us, that an agency will discontinue a discretionary allocation of unrestricted funds from a lump-sum appropriation.

Our decision in Citizens to Preserve Overton Park, Inc. v. Volpe, 401 U. S. 402 (1971), confirms our conclusion that the Service was not required to follow the notice-and-comment procedures of 553 before terminating the Program. Overton Park dealt with the Secretary of Transportation's decision to authorize the use of federal funds to construct an interstate highway through a public park in Memphis, Tennessee. Private citizens and conservation organizations

the organization, procedure, or practice requirements of an agency and includes the approval or prescription for the future of rates, wages, corporate or financial structures or reorganizations thereof, prices, facilities, appliances, services or allowances therefor or of valuations, costs, or accounting, or practices bearing on any of the foregoing."

7 We express no view on the application of the publication requirements of 552, or on the propriety of the relief granted by the District Court. The Court of Appeals did not address these issues. See supra, at 190.


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