Took a while, but this week President Obama finally nominated Harvard Law professor Cass Sunstein to be head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget. Sunstein is a sharp thinker, especially good (in our view) in his analysis and skepticism of the precautionary principle.
The nomination was accompanied by an unusually personal statement from the President:
As one of America's leading constitutional scholars, Cass Sunstein has distinguished himself in a range of fields, including administrative law and policy, environmental law, and behavioral economics. He is uniquely qualified to lead my Administration's regulatory reform agenda at this crucial stage in our history. Cass is not only a valued advisor, he is a dear friend and I am proud to have him on my team.
Sunstein has his opponents among the activist right and Second Amendment supporters, and he has been attacked from left by advocates of the all-powerful regulatory state. We interpret President Obama's statement to be a message, especially to the latter group, that "This is my guy. Leave him alone."
As we noted in a post last month, the White House is re-evaluating regulatory review across the Administration. It's good Sunstein goes into the process with the confidence of the boss.