Of Foxes and Henhouses

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President Bush wants to give more latitude to federal agencies to determine for themselves whether projects might harm endangered species.

The author of the AP story doesn't understand what's going on: they write, in the lead, "Parts of the Endangered Species Act may soon be extinct." It's not true. They even tell us it's not true a few sentences later, saying the changes "don't require the approval of Congress." If they don't require the approval of Congress, then the Act is not being changed. I hate to say it, but, Duh.

The AP author shouldn't feel too badly, as the environmental attorney interviewed for the story, Eric Glitzenstein, doesn't understand it, or even the Constitution, very well either. Glitzenstein called this "the fox guarding the henhouse," but to the extent that's true, it has always been true, and it's no more true now than it was before.

Article II of the Constitution says: "The Executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America." This means that the President has all the executive power, every bit of it, and everyone under him only acts directly subject to his constitutional authority. The President has every right under the Constitution to dictate to each of these people exactly how to do their jobs. As far as "who" is in charge of the process -- foxes or some other creatures -- nothing's changed, because it's still the President.

I should add though that if Glitzenstein were in charge, he'd probably put the hens in charge of the henhouse, which might sound fairly democratic, but since hens are pretty stupid and I actually might want to eat some of them for dinner, that seems like a pretty bad idea to me. slashdot.org

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"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on August 11, 2008 9:27 PM.

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