Sunstein Confirmed!

57-40.   Sweet!

Sunstein Filibuster Broken

The Senate voted 65-35 today for cloture on the Sunstein appointment.  That means an up or down vote on his appointment will likely happen later this week.  A little more here.  The wingnut jamboree continues, however, as Glenn Beck has thrown his formidable lack of sense or decorum into the fray.  More on this as it develops.

–David Cassuto

Sunstein Update — No Recess for the Nutjobs

The congressional recess hasn’t stopped the wingnutathon against Cass Sunstein’s nomination to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.  This opinion piece looks to rally all right-thinking Americans against radical ideas like: “[T]he law should impose further regulation on hunting, scientific experiments, entertainment, and (above all)  farming to ensure against unnecessary animal suffering.”  Apparently, the fact that Sunstein indited such sacrilege renders him unfit to clean the toilets of the OIRA, much less head up the office.  “In Sunstein’s dangerously detached worldview, money-hungry trial  lawyers could sue on behalf of every Polled Hereford in the land. And , everyone knows, they would. Clarabelle Cow could sue Ronald McDonald.”

Part of me remains hopeful that inanities such as these will galvanize public opinion behind Sunstein and give him a mandate to actually do something about the horrid state of regulatory affairs.  Of course, part of me also still believes in the Easter Bunny.

–David Cassuto

Sunstein Nomination Inches Forward

Cass Sunstein will meet with Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) today in an effort to convince him (Chambliss) that Sunstein’s thoughtful and comparatively moderate positions on animal rights and welfare won’t result in him (Chambliss) and his constituents facing lawsuits from pigs and other confined animals.  Chambliss had earlier placed a hold on Sunstein’s nomination to head the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (related posts here).

Sunstein has so far succeeded in appeasing the Farm Animal Welfare Coalition (an umbrella group that includes such members as the American Farm Bureau Federation; see here for FAWC’s spirited defense of veal).  There is cause for cautious optimism that Senator Chambliss will find similar comfort.

More here.

–David Cassuto

Animal Issues Front & Center at Sunstein Confirmation Hearing

Cass Sunstein, President Obama’s choice for administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (a sort of Administrative Law Czar), is a law academic (U of Chicago and now Harvard) and an advocate and scholar of animal law.  He supports (among other things) the creation of a private right of action for animal protection statutes and the acknowledgment that such statutes create a basic foundation of rights (legally enforceable claims) for animals.  That and the fact that he once called for the abolition of hunting made his hearing less than smooth.  More details here; some posts about Sunstein here and here.

–David Cassuto