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Thursday, March 18, 2004

In Re: Triennial Review Order
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Efforts to help the Department of Justice have few bounds. I mean really, who is against justice? Nonetheless, eyebrows must have been raised when letters began arriving at the DoJ with advice for the Attorney General and Solicitor General.

Last week, NARUC leaders sent a letter to the President urging appeal. Soon enough, a handful of Senators sent a letter across town arguing for more regulation. Not to be outdone, yesterday 130 members of the U.S. House sent a letter to the President applauding the D.C. Circuit. (They even had the good sense to favorably mention the views of "conservative think tanks" on the issue.) Chairman Barton and Ranking Member Dingell have also weighed in with Olson against appeal.

Today we see a new entry. Rather than detouring their correspondence through 1600 Pennyslvania, a group of nine state regulators have written to Solicitor General Olson suggesting the best course action is for him not to seek certiorari in USTA. These regulators prefer to see energy spent on workable rules rather than additional appeals. To their credit, their arguments are based on the law not preferred policy outcomes.

The narrow aim of these policymakers is procedural certainty; it is not a specific policy outcome. Amid the hubbub over the unbundling rules, one point made by these regulators could easily be missed and deserves amplification. They write to General Olson:

"[I]t is frequently represented that the state regulators speak with unanimity on this issue. They do not."

posted by @ 5:30 PM | General

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