Critical Infrastructure-Administration Appointees


One of the purpose of this blog is for help to researches focusing on issues and personalities below the normal horizon for those concerned about governance/FEMA/Civil Security issues.

Going back in time there is a critical job in the Executive Branch and here was the WH announcement that did in fact lead to Senate confirmation of the person described:

 

             THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary
____________________________________________________________________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                            April 20, 2009

President Obama Announces Another Key OMB Post

WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama nominated Cass R. Sunstein to be Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget.

President Obama said, “As one of America’s leading constitutional scholars, Cass Sunstein has distinguished himself in a range of fields, including administrative law and policy, environmental law, and behavioral economics.  He is uniquely qualified to lead my Administration’s regulatory reform agenda at this crucial stage in our history. Cass is not only a valued advisor, he is a dear friend and I am proud to have him on my team.”

The following nomination has been sent to the United States Senate:

Cass R. Sunstein, Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget
Cass R. Sunstein is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. A recipient of many honors and prizes, and author of hundreds of articles and numerous books, Sunstein is the most cited law professor on any faculty in the United States.  Sunstein graduated in 1975 from Harvard College and in 1978 from Harvard Law School, both magna cum laude. After graduation, he clerked for Justice Benjamin Kaplan of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court, and then he worked as an attorney-advisor in the Office of the Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice. Before joining Harvard, he was a faculty member at the University of Chicago Law School from 1981 to 2008.  Sunstein has testified before congressional committees on many subjects, and he has been involved in constitution-making and law reform activities in a number of nations.  Sunstein has been Samuel Rubin Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia University and a visiting professor of law at Harvard.  Sunstein’s many books include After the Rights Revolution (1990), Risk and Reason (2002), Laws of Fear: Beyond the Precautionary Principle (2005), Worst-Case Scenarios (2007), and Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (with Richard H. Thaler, 2008).  He is also coauthor of leading casebooks in both Constitutional Law and Administrative Law; his major academic specialties have been constitutional law, administrative law, and regulatory policy.”

 This guy is smart. Also well versed in the Adminstrative state that has arisen post WWII in the US.  It was first erected of course by Judge Kenneshaw “Mountain” Landis. What has fascinated me about the OBAMA Administration is that in fact it so far has largely been about Rehtoric and Legislation. But now that we are turning to regulation we still don’t know how, where, when, what, or even who will be the key Executive Branch operatives that will either take on or duck the tough issues. A revived ACUS [Administrative Conference of the US] under Paul Verkuil has taken on the issue of “Pre-emption” in the regulatory context.  Of course the US Constitution does not use such a word so in fact either the Supremacy Clause or the Commerce Clause must be the source of that doctrine. Sarah Palin are you reading? Tea Partiers are you reading? I have also suggested that there may well be implied preemption under the National Security State erected under Article I Section 8 of the Constitution. Interesting that a conscensus has now formed that over 50% of all federal obligations are to support the National Security State. Well read Andrew Bachevich and Tom Englehard’s American Enterprise Project and the TOMGRAM.

But Cass Sunstein is a unique person and no one with his knowledge and intellectual firepower on adminstrative law sits on SCOTUS. So it will be interesting as the revived doctrine of “over-delegation” or “improper-delegation” used to defeat the NEW DEAL legislation is either successfully resucitated or again defeated.

Speaking of delegation a reminder that Title 3 Section 301 allows the President to delegate any power vested in him. Should be cited in all Executive Orders issued by a President. Oddly few and far between are substantive Executive Orders from this administration.  Personally if I were President I would launch a task force to help NARA (National Archives and Record Administration) to update the 1989 REGAN administration effort to actually codify (the word is used by NARA for that project) all Executive Orders currently in effect and their correct text. Always good to know where you are starting from.

Anyhow between Cass Sunstein and OIRA and Executive Orders given that the HOUSE is now under Republican control expecting more evidence of the administrative state being used as a policy choice for the Administration. Perhaps I am wrong but given the lack of substantive legislation in the 112th Congress, this should be fun to watch.

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