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"The Obama administration pushed back Friday against accusations it handed an incomplete record to the court handling a challenge to the Clean Water Rule. Lawyers for U.S. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers were responding to challengers who asked the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to force the release of internal memos as part of the record to challenge the legality of the rule, also known as Waters of the U.S., or WOTUS. The memos in question show Army Corps officials strongly objecting to how WOTUS was written. The documents were the focus of news stories last year...The administration argues the memos represent the deliberative process of agencies and shouldn't be included in the review process. "The decisionmaker's mental processes and subjective intent are irrelevant to the court's review," Department of Justice lawyers wrote in filings last week. Courts have historically considered the administrative record to be what the agencies submit...Vermont Law School professor Pat Parenteau agrees with the administration. "The administrative record is whatever the agency says it is," he said. "My guess is the court is going to be very reluctant to expand the record.""

Posted July 26th, 2016