Thursday, January 8, 2009

Obama appoints an animal rights scholar to his administration

Cass R. Sunstein has been asked to be Obama's head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. You can read more at this link. Now, what that articles doesn't say, and that what most articles probably won't say, is that Sunstein has a history as an animal rights legal scholar. While not particularly philosophical in the articles I have read by him, he has a strong pragmatic mind for extending and, even more importantly, enforcing animal welfare laws.

If you are interested in more about what this obscure office is for, check out Ezra Klein's blog post here. I could talk a bit about Sustein's theories of cost-benefit analysis and how they would clearly play a role in his new job, but that is not what the five of you that check this blog come here to read.

Anyway, I think this could be a very interesting development.

If you are interested in reading stuff about Sunstein on animal rights, I might start this article, The Rights of Animals: A Very Short Primer. He is also co-editor, with Martha Nussbaum of this book entitled simply Animal Rights.