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View Diary: UPDATEDX2 Rahm Emanuel puts halt to Bush's Midnight regulations (242 comments)

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  •  not sure about this one (1+ / 0-)
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    Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, has introduced a bill, the Midnight Rule Act, that would give incoming cabinet secretaries — starting with the Obama administration — greater power to rewrite regulations issued during the final three months of the previous presidency.

    I don't think this is something I would support. The President is still the President whether it's the first day of their term or the last. Turn back the clock to Bush following Clinton and I don't think many Democrats would be supporting the idea of giving Bush sort of a retroactive veto.

    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

    by Joe Bob on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 07:08:27 PM PST

    •  Regulations implementing laws should implement (1+ / 0-)
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      the laws they are designed to fill out.  When an administration in its waning days does this sort of stuff it is often to keep laws from being implemented.  Yet the executive is not the legislature and they should not be in a position to gut a duly passed law by writing regulations contrary to its purposes.  So while the president is still president even after the other side may have won the next election, the president should not have powers which allow him/her to overturn legislation.  Many of these last minute changes are not truly implementation of legislation passed by our nation'l legislature.  So some limits here are not such a bad idea.

      •  The law can allow stretch (1+ / 0-)
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        Some legislation is so exacting in detail that there is very little wiggle in the regulations. Other times, the legislation is in essence an enabling act.

        Under FDR, there was no question about the law that banned most child labor. The regulations would have been written to reflect the meaning of the legislation that said, regulations shall be implemented to prevent child labor under xyears.

        The Bush people would look at the same law and say, aha, there's a place to squirm through. And they would do the regulation and in the world that was all GOP, no one would stop them. The law can be legitimately be stretched in regulations. An enabling pollution act might to codified in CFR as barring .75 micrograms of xchemical. The legislation could allow a discretional setting.

        For most of the last 75 years, courts would have tossed out the revisions. In other cases, it might not be so clearcut.  

        The difficulty of these regulatory changes is that they're difficult to challenge. You have to have standing. You'd need  a child to be plaintiff, the money to carry the case. Multiply that by 10,000 regulations and you get an idea of the negative power of the presidency.

        This administration changed the regulations they didn't like and ignored the ones that they didn't change, including the Uniform Military Code of Justice.Bush's departure allowed a lot of military a sign of relief on that one.

    •  It's been going on for a very long time (0+ / 0-)

      Ever read Marbury v. Madison?

      (-7.75, -7.69) No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up - Lily Tomlin

      by john07801 on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 08:35:22 PM PST

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    •  Reform? (0+ / 0-)

      I don't agree with the change in this sense because it is simply another formal grant of power to the executive and it contributes to an ineffective government. I prefer the president who shows the real source of his power, the people.

      The GOP wanted Bush to have all this power over the government and our people. Now Obama is president and they're have second thoughts. They are  now having second thoughts. So should we.  we should keep in mind.

      We should not forget the power of the implied threat, especially when the threat is real.   Knowing that change is coming in 3 months or six months  create an excess of uncertainty. Most businesses will either conform now or alter their business plans to deal with the new reality.

      Nor should we forget the very real threat of Obama's legitimate executive power. It filters down as far as he wants it too.. On these issues I would expect the Department head to be in tune with Obama.

      And, assuming the quality of the Obama team to be what it seems, you miht think twice about trying to slide one by.

      Imagine you are a company which has been counting on the permissive approach of Bush to corporate power. Maybe an operator or builder of coal or nuclear power plant. Or maybe you're an oil-gas E&P who's been chewing at the bit for the right to rape virginal forests or offshore drilling zones. Or a store chain that's been cheating on overtime or something else in labor.

      So do you build your coal fired plant to conform with the rule you know is going to be changed back and -- probably tightened. You've called your workers a high-sounding name to excuse you from overtime. Do you decide to wait.

    •  The text of Nadler's bill (H.R. 34) (1+ / 0-)
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      Joe Bob

      is here (at least for the time being -- they move things around on Thomas quite a bit).

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 09:10:51 AM PST

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