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Administrative Law

Law Prof, Nominated for Regulatory Czar, Advocated ‘Senior Death Discount’

Posted Jan 27, 2009 8:51 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein, nominated to become regulatory czar in the Obama administration, supports a cost-benefit analysis that has ruffled liberal feathers when advocated by Republicans.

Sunstein is “dedicated to calculating the dollar value of every regulation,” the Los Angeles Times reports. He has advocated a “senior death discount” that assigns greater value to the lives of young people than the elderly. And he has questioned the constitutionality of laws protecting workplace safety and the environment.

Business interests are applauding Sunstein’s nomination, the story says, while labor and environmental activists hope the law professor will be questioned about his views during his confirmation hearing.

Sunstein did not comment for the Times, but said in an e-mail to Obama advisers that he supports strong regulations and ways to improve them, according to the story. "I do talk a lot about cost-benefit analysis," he wrote, "and that gets me in trouble in some quarters."

Hat tip to How Appealing.

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