With a short time remaining in office, “President Bush’s aides have been scrambling to change rules and regulations on the environment, civil liberties and abortion rights, among others,” reports the New York Times.
In the midst of a presidential campaign that featured an incumbent party determined minimize President Bush’s visibility, many of these changes have slipped under the media’s radar and remained out of the public eye. Yet, the impact of these minor regulatory measures could be felt for years to come. Some examples cited in this editorial from the New York Times include lessening air pollution regulations near national parks, broadening doctors’ and nurses’ right to refusal in abortion or contraception cases, and increasing surveillance techniques used by the Department of Homeland Security and the F.B.I.
This activity lacks transparency, but truthfully, this is not a new trend. Historically, American presidents made a habit of implementing reforms, pardoning friends and appointing judges right up to midnight of their last day in office. While every man in the White House does not wish to relinquish his power or see his legacy end, the media and public interest groups must stay tuned in to track the changes being made. Don’t turn your eye from the “lame duck”!
— Norah Mallaney