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What Is Regulation?

10 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2012 Last revised: 7 Nov 2012

Barak Orbach

University of Arizona

Date Written: September 7, 2012


People hold strong views about regulation, but do they know what “regulation” means? National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is a landmark in regulation jurisprudence, yet the NFIB Court was divided over the meaning of the term “to regulate.” Long ago, John Stuart Mill observed that “we do not [always] understand the grounds of our opinion. But when we turn to . . . morals, religion, politics, social relations, and the business of life, three-fourths of the arguments for every disputed opinion consist in dispelling the appearances which favor some opinion different from it.” The controversy and confusion about regulation illustrate the phenomenon. This Essay explores the meaning of the term “regulation.”

Keywords: regulation

Suggested Citation

Orbach, Barak, What Is Regulation? (September 7, 2012). 30 Yale Journal on Regulation Online 1 (2012); Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 12-27. Available at SSRN:

Barak Orbach (Contact Author)

University of Arizona ( email )

1201 E. Speedway Blvd.
Tuscon, AZ 85721-0176
United States
520-626-7256 (Phone)
520.858.0025 (Fax)


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