It is not often you see a headline that is so documents-specific as this:
- Bush’s Bureaucratic Dark Arts: Why the Federal Register Is the Most Important Publication in America Right Now, by Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive, Posted on Alternet, August 23, 2008.
Since my first library job in a law library, I have been intrigued by the dryest of dry documents, the Federal Register, where, every working day, announcements, draft regulations, and invitations for public comment appear.
The headline above was added by Alternet when it was re-posted from the original posting in The Progressive on August 18, 2008, but it was drawn from the original text in which Rothschild says, “Today, the most important publication in America is the Federal Register.” Yes, both publications have strong editorial positions and the article is an opinion piece. But these contexts make the headline and the comment no less true. As Rothschild says, you have to “look at proposed regulatory changes at the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of the Interior, and the Justice Department you get a sense of” the vast, last minute changes that the current administration is trying to instantiate. “Unable to accomplish his goals legislatively, Bush is trying to get them done by fiat.”
Regulations and regulatory law are the implementation of legislated law and make all the difference in how laws are enforced and how activities of all citizens are, well…, regulated. Whether or not you agree or disagree with Rothschild’s comments or with what the Bush administration is doing, this is a text-book worthy case of studying how huge changes in our way of life can be implemented by the dryest of dry government documents.
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