Harvard Law Professor to Head Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
The new head of a federal office with review authority over all agency
rules has an extensive record supporting animal rights and even calling
for the banning of hunting. This raises the possibility of pro-
hunting, fishing, and trapping rules being deep sixed before they ever
get a chance to move forward. The new head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) will be law professor Cass Sunstein. Picked by President Obama from his perch at Harvard, Sunstein’s long time positions on animal rights
immediately ring alarm bells for sportsmen.
Sunstein has been an unyielding advocate for the animal rights movement. He has written extensively on the subject and shown a strong dislike towards hunting, going so far as to say that “we might ban hunting altogether, at least if it’s sole purpose is human recreation.”
He also has suggested that it makes sense to begin “allowing suits on behalf of animals.” As the editor of a well known 2004 book on animal rights, Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions; he compiled legal arguments made by numerous leaders of the movement. You can read some of Sunstein’s thoughts on animal rights by Clicking Here.
The concern over Sunstein’s views stems from the authority he will have as the head of the OIRA. While few people have ever heard of it, the OIRA has significant power over regulations coming from federal agencies.
A part of the federal budget office, the OIRA has been given extensive authority to perform data based cost/benefit analyses of all new federal regulations. Though not allowed to issue opinions on the merits of any proposed regulations, the OIRA can block rules if it considers the supporting data not strong.
It requires little imagination to envision an ardent opponent of hunting finding numerous technical reasons to put the kibosh on pro-hunting regulations for years to come.
The USSA will continue monitoring these developments.