Theodore's World: Cass Sunstein Regulatory Czar's Confirmation on Hold

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September 10, 2009

Cass Sunstein Regulatory Czar's Confirmation on Hold

Obama Regulatory Czar's Confirmation Held Up by Hunting Rights Proponent

FOX News

Obama's nominee for "regulatory czar" has hit a new snag in his Senate confirmation process -- a "hold" by Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who's says he's not convinced that Harvard professor Cass Sunstein won't push a radical animal rights agenda, including new restrictions on agriculture and even hunting.

Senators are permitted "holds" to prevent a vote on a nominee from coming to the floor. They are often secretive and for very specific reasons.

"Sen. Cornyn finds numerous aspects of Mr. Sunstein's record troubling, specifically the fact that he wants to establish legal 'rights' for livestock, wildlife and pets, which would enable animals to file lawsuits in American courts," the Republican's spokesman, Kevin McLaughlin, said in a statement to

Cornyn's hold on Sunstein comes just as Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., last week lifted his own hold on the nominee, whom Obama tapped in April to become the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Budget and Management.

Chambliss said he was dropping his hold because Sunstein had convinced him that he "would not take any steps to promote litigation on behalf of animals," and that he believes the "Second Amendment creates an individual right to possess guns for purposes of both hunting and self defense."

One of Sunstein's top jobs would be to review and provide guidance for draft federal regulations at different federal agencies. It is a wide-ranging and largely unrestrained position in the executive branch.

That's a large part of the reason Sunstein's positions on animal rights have become worrisome to his critics. Despite his assurances to the contrary, Sunstein has spoken stridently in favor of allowing people the right to bring suit on behalf of animals in animal cruelty cases and to restrict what he calls the more horrific practices associated with industrial breeding and processing of animals for food.

In a 2007 speech at Harvard, Sunstein also advocated restricting animal testing for cosmetics, banning hunting and encouraging the general public to eat less meat.

The Center for Consumer Freedom's David Martosko, a Sunstein critic, said those positions make the agricultural industry -- major stakeholders in the states represented by both Chambliss and Cornyn -- nervous.

Sunstein, who is married to National Security Council Director of Multilateral Affairs Samantha Power, has earned widely varied reviews among the political left and right, and from some of the unlikeliest of quarters.

Adding to animal rights and cost-benefit analysis is concern over Sunstein's positions on freedom of speech.

News of Sunstein's latest book, "On Rumors: How Falsehoods Spread, Why We Believe Them, What Can Be Done," lit up the blogosphere last week when The New York Post ran a column by a reviewer who received an advance copy.

Writer Kyle Smith suggested Sunstein threatens to tweak libel laws for the Internet and make online writers, particularly bloggers, legally responsible for falsehoods and rumors that get generated in cyberspace.

"Sunstein calls for a 'notice and take down' law that would require bloggers and service providers to 'take down falsehoods upon notice,' even those made by commenters -- but without apparent penalty," Smith wrote. "How long would it take for a court to sort out the truth? (Presidential daughters) Sasha and Malia will be running for president by then. Nobody will care anymore. But it will give politicians the ability to tie up their online critics in court."
"Libel law, for example, might chill speech about public figures and public issues, in a way that could damage democratic debate. And if there is a 'marketplace of ideas,' we should be especially concerned about the risk of chilling effect because it will undermine processes that will ultimately produce the truth," he wrote.

Sunstein, who once taught alongside Obama at the University of Chicago Law School, did not return an interview request from

Wild Thing's comment........

Sunstein is a dangerous wacko. Normally the Czar's don't have to get Congressional approval. This guy was nominated to a position that is under Senate confirmation but he will also be a CZAR.

Regarding the animals being able to sue how would that work? How would the animals “advise” their attorney? Would animals be allowed to sue each other too? Imagine, chickens suing foxes; sheep suing wolves, etc.

Cass Sunstein is the author of several books. A couple of titles:

The Second Bill of Rights: FDR's Unfinished Revolution--And Why We Need It More Than Ever

A Constitution of Many Minds: Why the Founding Document Doesn't Mean What It Meant Before

Judge Napolitano said last night on Beck’s show that “his (Cass Sunstein) potential damage is limitless.” The Judge also said the guy would be fast tracked for the next Supreme Court vacancy. He MUST be stopped !

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at September 10, 2009 07:55 AM


Sunstein is a real nut case. He is far Left and does not like the US Constitution. That makes him a good pick in obama's mind. There is also the Chicago connection.

obama seems to be picking the most radical and far leftist people for his regime. I guess that obama figures if Sunstein can use animal rights to drive the cost of food up, that will help ruin America even faster. As Judge Napolitano alluded to, it would be another feather is obama's self styled Marxist cap if he could nominate a rabid anti-Constitutionalist to the SCOTUS.

Posted by: TomR at September 10, 2009 11:17 AM

I just heard the commie lefty had a cloture vote and he was confirmed. Get your ammo folks, it could be nasty real soon.

Posted by: cuchieddie(former Army Infantry) at September 10, 2009 02:58 PM

Soylent Green could become a reality. It would get the elderly off of medicare, save the cattle and chickens and remove a big swath of America lovers. That's how nutty this guy sounds. This whole Obama circus is like something out of a Kurt Vonnegut novel.

Posted by: Jim at September 10, 2009 05:07 PM

Well as of this afternoon he has been confirmed by the Senate. Hold on to your seats going to be a bumpy ride.

His idea of the 2nd Amendment is the worst I've ever heard. He will regulate the country out of their guns and ammo.

Better buy it now.

Posted by: Mark at September 10, 2009 06:17 PM

Tom, good point thank you for adding that,
yes the Chicago connection too makes it
really bad.

Whew Tom what a mess.

Posted by: Wild Thing at September 10, 2009 10:55 PM

cuchieddie(former Army Infantry),
oh no this is not good news.

Posted by: Wild Thing at September 10, 2009 10:56 PM

Jim, yes your right about Soylent Green.

Posted by: Wild Thing at September 10, 2009 10:57 PM

Mark,Obama has brought us his own kind
the worst of the worst.

Posted by: Wild Thing at September 10, 2009 10:58 PM

Jom is absolutely right. Cass Sunstein hsd fr9ends that have advocated reducing the world populatiion to less than half a billion people. The are kind of vage on means but no great crime is commited until someone proposes it as a desirable thing to do.

Posted by: Avitar at September 11, 2009 12:44 AM

I ment Jim is right. Shows me not to be plogging after midnight.

Posted by: Avitar at September 11, 2009 12:46 AM