Public Citizen and San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2003)

In 2003, Public Citizen and the California anti-nuclear group San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace challenged the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s effort to bypass lawful rulemaking procedures in addressing nuclear facilities’ security against terrorist attacks. The Commission revised its rule defining the threats against which plants must protect themselves without notice or public comment, in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, the Atomic Energy Act, and the NRC’s own regulations. Public Citizen and the Mothers for Peace asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to compel the agency to follow lawful procedures in addressing this important safety issue. The DC Circuit issued an order that effectively told the agency to provide the rulemaking proceeding sought in the lawsuit.