The rulemaking process is governed primarily by the Rules Enabling Act and the Procedures for the Judicial Conference's Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure and Its Advisory Rules Committees.
The Rules Enabling Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2071-2077, authorizes the Supreme Court to prescribe general rules of practice and procedure and rules of evidence for the federal courts. The Act has been described as a treaty between Congress and the judiciary and represents a manifestation of the traditional doctrine of separation of powers. Congress, through the Act, delegated the essential rulemaking function to a co-equal branch of government while retaining the ability to review and reject any rule adopted by the Supreme Court.
Pursuant to Section 2073 of the Rules Enabling Act, the Judicial Conference has established procedures to govern the work of the Standing Committee and its advisory rules committees. These procedures do not limit the rules committees' authority, and failure to comply with them does not invalidate any rules committee action.