Haste Makes Waste

Sandy Levinson, who finds it a horror that our defective Constitution allows the out-going President to stay in office past the election, would not take comfort in this report from the Mercatus Center on Midnight Regulations.

The paper shows that, going back to 1948, when the White House switches parties, the number of pages in the Federal Register increases on average by 17 percent in the three months following an election. To be sure, some of the regulatory issues during the midnight period have nothing to do with presidents trying to rush through last-minute regulations that they couldn’t, or wouldn’t, push during the first part of the year. However, the systematic outburst during the midnight period suggests a consistent effort on the part of each administration to hurry regulation through before they leave office.

Doing things at the last minute is something of a Presidential tradition.