Rulemaking/Administrative Orders

Resource Guide

Advocates of expanded judicial rulemaking authority have asserted its necessity in ensuring an independent judiciary, while advocates of legislative involvement in rulemaking have urged that the accountability of the rule makers must be maintained to check and balance otherwise unbridled judicial power. The main issue concerning rulemaking authority is where that authority should be located, with possible entities including the highest state court, the state legislature, a judicial council, or some other combination.

Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.


Garner, Bryan A. Guidelines for Drafting and Editing Court Rules. (1996). Standing Committee on Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure This document explains the drafting and editing choices in adopting appellate court rules.
McCabe, Peter G. Renewal of the Federal Rulemaking Process. (1995). American University Law Review 44: 1655 This article provides a brief history of the federal rulemaking process, discusses current rulemaking procedures, and discusses future initiatives in the rulemaking process. 
Cook, Jessica. Rulemaking Survey for Chief Justices. (April 2003).

This survey provides responses from Chief Justices regarding their experience with judicial rulemaking in their state courts.

Federal, State, and Local Court Rules

Court Links. Links to each federal circuit Web site, which contain information on their rules and procedures.
Federal Court Rules, Forms and Dockets. Information and links to state and federal court rules, forms and dockets.
Federal Rulemaking. This site provides information on national and local rules as well as information on the federal rules and the rulemaking process. All proposed amendments to the rules are included, and the site allows users to submit comments about amendments. 
Illinois Rulemaking Procedures. (2008). Illinois State Courts
Washington State Courts: Court Rules. Washington State Courts This site explains the rulemaking process for Washington state. While every state has their own rulemaking process, this resource provides an example of how state courts adopt rules.