Critics of the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule filed opening briefs in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. However, opponents of the rule cannot use or cite internal memos from the Army Corps of Engineers in their filings. Those memos include comments from a top general objecting to the rulemaking process for WOTUS. But the three-judge panel hearing the case decided to bar most of those documents from the administrative record because they were deliberative process materials. Judges fear that allowing such documents into court could chill agency officials from speaking frankly during the rulemaking process, according to Politico. Groups filing complaints against the Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency represent agriculture and mining companies alongside a handful of state attorney generals.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.