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Free «Tablemania and the Ban of the Glass-Top Coffee Tables by the Environmental Protection» Essay Sample


Anakin Skywalker owns and operates a small business, Tablemania, which deals in the manufacture and sell of coffee tables. Tablemania has grown over the years to become one of the renowned manufacturers of critically-acclaimed coffee tables globally.  Skywalker was, indeed, recognized as the best coffee table designer in the world last year. His best designs have actually attracted some of the biggest stars in Hollywood. This has also seen his annual sales and profits grow tremendously. However, the passing of the regulation calling for the ban of all glass-top coffee tables by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) contained significant adverse impacts on Tablemania considering the fact that all of Skywalker’s tables contain signature glass tops. From EPA’S website, it is indicated that the regulation was published in the Federal Register on July 1, 2012 and was scheduled to take effect on July 10, 2012. However, no comments had been received by the public regarding the regulation, and, furthermore, no findings had been filed by EPA to confirm why the glass-top coffee tables were dangerous. However, Tablemania had already sold five coffee tables since July 10. This essay basically seeks to provide an analysis of this case looking at the arguments and facts from both the side of the business, and that of EPA. Among the issues to be considered when analyzing this case are: the Constitutionality of the EPA, the method used to pass the regulation, the interpretation of the organic statute by the EPA.



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Can the EPA Fine and/or Jail Skywalker

Assuming the agents of EPA walked into Skywalker’s store to arrest him, EPA cannot jail or fine Skywalker. However, it is apparent that EPA passes its regulations and comments.  Before EPA issues a regulation, it must offer an opening for public hearing. Looking at this case, indeed, it is apparent that no public hearing is contained.  This is based on the fact that from the Federal Register, no comments had been received by the public regarding the regulation. In addition, it is worth noting that no findings had been filed against the glass-top coffee tables that could be used to back-up this regulation. It is also important to bear in mind that EPA rulemakings can only become fully operational and legally binding after they are turned into final regulations (Environmental Protection Agency, 1999). This means that the public has the opportunity to offer necessary input in almost every stage of all regulations under development before they are turned into full regulations (Environmental Protection Agency, 1999). However, in this case we note that that the regulation was published in the Federal Register on July 1, 2012, which means, therefore, that the public views were required despite the fact that no public comments had been received yet, and basing on this provision, there is no way EPA can fine and/ or jail Skywalker.

However, there could be a possibility that Skywalker could be jailed considering the fact that EPA had provided room for public comment after it published the regulation, and since no comment had been received deterring it from implementing the regulation, it went forward to enforce it. EPA has various sites through which it can receive public grievances regarding the regulations and, therefore, all grievances ought to have been received before the day of implementation (Environmental Protection Agency, 1999). Besides, it had issued a public notice regarding the regulation, an approach it applies in passing its regulations.

Can Skywalker Sue the EPA and Challenge the Regulation?

Yes, Skywalker can sue EPA and challenge the regulation. Skywalker can sue EPA at all levels of the judicial system, for instance, the district courts, federal courts, as well as the Supreme Court. It is important to note that EPA comprises of ten regional offices, each of which is charged with the mandate of overseeing several territories and states.  Therefore, in most cases, the environmental agencies at the state levels control the federal regulations established by EPA. In this case, Skywalker can opt to go to file a lawsuit against EPA at the district court. He is required to come up with the arguments and facts regarding the regulation that he can used to file a lawsuit against EPA. One of the arguments Skywalker can use to challenge the regulation regards the method EPA used to pass the regulation. Seemingly, EPA highlights that its regulations are passed through notice and comments, and has an adjudicatory department where the public can file a grievance (Environmental Protection Agency, 1999). It is important to recognize the fact that regulations that concern the public work well when all the stakeholders are engaged in the every step of the formulation process, up to the implementation process. This should be an open process that gives room for all to participate. However, despite the fact that EPA had an adjudicatory department where public opinion is filed, it is important to note that, in this case, no comments were received by the public regarding the regulation. EPA legislation states that the public has the opportunity to offer their views regarding the regulations before the final conclusion is attained, a fact that was disregarded in this case since public opinion was not taken into consideration (Environmental Protection Agency, 1999). Furthermore, it is clear that the regulation had been published in the Federal register on July 1, 2012, and was expected to become operational on July 10, 2012. This is a very short period for any regulation to become fully operational considering the fact that this was a regulation that would affect most of the businesses that ought to have been given a notice before the regulation is enacted (David, 2003). Basically, the process that was applied by EPA in passing this regulation is fundamentally unfair, and lacks transparency, since the public opinion was not taken into consideration before the final agreement was reached as whether or not to have this regulation in place (Donald and Howard, 2005).

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The second argument that could be used to support this lawsuit is the fact that no official findings or claims had been filed to establish why glass-top coffee tables were dangerous. Before any regulation is passed, it is important to conduct enough research in order to document all the necessary information regarding the ruling. It is also important to ensure that all stakeholders are involved in the process of research just to ensure that all the relevant information is filed to provide the legal backing regarding the regulation (Donald and Howard, 2005). However, in this case, it can be deduced that no conclusive research had been carried out that would be used to back up this regulation.

Defenses EPA will Assert to Try and Defeat Skywalker’s Case

It is important to take note of the fact that this is a regulatory agency that has been authorized by the Congress to write regulations that provide the legal, technical and operational details required in implementing laws (Environmental Protection Agency, 1999). Therefore, establishing environmental regulations is one of the main mandates the agency was established to pursue. On its side EPA will file a number of arguments to try to defeat Skywalker’s case. Looking at the constitutionality of EPA, for instance, it is clear that the agency passes its regulations through notices and comments, the process it followed in passing this regulation that called for the ban of glass-top coffee tables (Environmental Protection Agency, 1999).  It is clear that the regulation had been formulated on the 1st of July and the public was given time to issue their grievances through the adjudicatory department, that could have been reviewed before the implementation of the regulation. However, despite the fact that no comment had been received yet, this could not be used in challenging the implementation process since the public had been offered the opportunity to do so before the regulation was implemented. Furthermore, the public had been notified of the regulation through the agency’s website and the television. EPA, therefore, followed the legal process in implementing this regulation, and, thus, has the right to sue Skywalker.

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Regarding the claim that no findings had been filed to establish why the glass-top coffee tables were dangerous, however, it was not fully established as to whether the findings were available or not. There could be a possibility that the agency could have conducted enough research regarding the glass-top coffee tables though the findings had not been posted on the website, before publishing this regulation. In addition, Skywalker ought to have walked or contacted the agency to find out if the findings regarding the claim that the glass-top coffee tables were dangerous before filling the case.

Looking at the interpretation of the organic status, the Supreme Court requires that reviews of the construction of the statute the agency administers be first considered whether the Congress has looked into the matter under discussion (Environmental Protection Agency, 1999). However, considering the fact that this issue had not been discussed by the Congress, the court is required to consider whether the agency’s claims are grounded on the permissible establishment of a statute. Talking of the case of the period the regulation took before it became operational, it is important to note that the EPA legislation does not indicate the period a regulation should take before it is implemented (Environmental Protection Agency, 1999). The regulation was published and the public was required to provide their opinion after which it would be implemented, a process EPA follows in making its ruling. This process had been fully considered and, thus, EPA was justified in making its ruling. In addition, it is important to bear in mind that just like any other regulation, this regulation was subject to amendments. Therefore, if in any case there was need that amendments have to be made to this regulation; EPA has room for that, taking into account that this is a regulatory body that is charged with the mandate of come up with regulations that guide the process of law implementation (Environmental Protection Agency, 1999).

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This essay gives an analysis of a case between two parties, Skywalker and EPA. Skywalker’s business will be significantly affected by the regulation implemented by the EPA regarding the ban on glass-top coffee tables considering the fact that this is what formed the base of Skywalker’s business. Skywalker has the right to move to the court to challenge this regulation basing on various arguments and facts, for instance, the method applied in passing the regulation, the fact that no findings has been posted to establish why glass-tops were dangerous, and EPA’s short notification. EPA, on the other hand, can assert a number of arguments to defeat the case filed against it. For instance, it is clear that the agency followed the correct process in implementing this regulation and an opportunity had been offered for public opinion. In addition, EPA’s legislation does not provide period through which a regulation is enacted. However, it is important to note that all these arguments and facts are grounded on the constitutionality of EPA, and the method it applies in passing regulations.


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