Epstein Criticizes Sunstein's Critics
This past week marked the belated Senate confirmation of my former colleague, Cass R. Sunstein, as the head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which helps coordinate the many regulatory activities in the modern welfare state.
Sunstein is by any fair account the most prominent, versatile and influential left-of-center legal academic in the U.S. His nomination has been supported, sensibly enough, by The Wall Street Journal, which also sees him correctly as one of the more conservative players in the Obama administration. But apparently, its wise counsel did not slow down key Republican senators who held up his nomination on at least three separate occasions, in part because of their worries that his view on hunting and animal care make him an extremist on animal rights.
Regrettably, they seem more influenced by the caricature of his position on the American Conservative Union Web site and Glenn Beck's brutal hosing this past July that also denounced Sunstein for his passionate support of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Second Bill of Rights. This sad tale has been well recounted by David Weigel in the Washington Independent. Therefore, it is perhaps no surprise that Sunstein's was confirmed was by the embarrassingly narrow vote of 57-to-40.