The Federal Regulatory Tsunami

Scheduled to hit this year, with no warning. It’s like we’re reliving the Roosevelt administration.

[Update a while later]

Related: The wages of Wickard:

“The exhibition of the Hemingway cats is integral to the museum’s commercial purpose, and thus, their exhibition affects interstate commerce,” the court said. “For these reasons, Congress has the power to regulate the museum and the exhibition of the Hemingway cats.”

The USDA acted after a visitor complained several years ago about the museum’s care of the cats. The agency wanted the museum to obtain an animal exhibitor’s license; either cage the cats at night, construct a higher fence to contain them, or hire a night watchman to keep an eye on them; tag each cat; and construct “elevated resting surfaces” for animals, according to the opinion.

Can it get more ridiculous? I often say I’m glad that we don’t get all the government that we pay for, but things like this make me wonder if we actually do.

3 thoughts on “The Federal Regulatory Tsunami”

  1. Form the PDF of the court ruling, I see that the decision hinges on the court’s acceptance of the USDA’s interpretation of the word “distribution” in the statute (where it reads:
    The AWA somewhat obscurely defines an “exhibitor” as “any person
    (public or private) exhibiting any animals, which were purchased in commerce or
    the intended distribution of which affects commerce, or will affect commerce, to
    the public for compensation, as determined by the Secretary.” 7 U.S.C. § 2132(h). )

    The court accepts USDA’s definition of “distribution” (read the PDF, it’s short) DESPITE the separate use of the word “exhibition” in the statute. Simply amazing, not to mention idiotic. This is deference to the agency, stretched way beyond “reasonable”

  2. It’ll be interesting to see if this period of time coincides with a long term drop in GDP growth. There was a bend in US GDP growth around the early 1970s (Wikipedia claims 1973), where GDP dropped from near 4% average growth rate to a bit over 2% growth rate. A notable regulatory change during this time was the creation of the EPA which spurred a large increase in the pages of new regulation and of course, the various effects of globalization (which might have been pushed along by regulation which made moving business to China and elsewhere for cheaper than keeping it in the US ).

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