Feb. 25, 2009 by Christopher Schroeder

Midnight Regulations: Congress Lends a Hand

The following is cross-posted by permission from Executive Watch, a blog maintained by the Duke Law School Public Law Program.


Every time the presidency has changed parties in recent years, the outgoing president has issued regulations in the final months of his presidency implementing policies at odds with the policies of the incoming president.  The critics of these regulations invariably deride them as “midnight regulations”  that have been rushed through the regulatory process.  Propublica is monitoring the Bush midnight regulations, here. Then the incoming president sets out to stop or undo many of them by issuing a regulatory “stop order” to the agencies and departments. 


Stopping a regulation from taking effect is much less resource intensive than undoing one, so every recent president stop order, including President Obama’s, has contained a request that no agency or department send any regulations for publication in the Federal Register until they have been reviewed by a political appointee of the new president, and that they withdraw any regulations that the Office of the Federal Register has received but not published. 


For regulations that have been published, the Obama memorandum – which was issued by his chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel, on January 20 …

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Feb. 25, 2009

Midnight Regulations: Congress Lends a Hand