Press Release

Consumer Group: Senate Confirmation of Animal-Rights Activist Cass Sunstein Will Have Hidden Costs

WASHINGTON–This afternoon the United States Senate confirmed the nomination of Cass Sunstein to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama White House. The confirmation came after three different senators placed procedural “holds” on Sunstein’s nomination, and only succeeded after a highly unusual cloture vote on the Senate floor late yesterday. Sunstein is a self-described believer in the philosophy of “animal rights.” He has argued that sport hunting should be illegal, that meat-eating should be rare, and that animals should have the right to sue human beings in courts of law.

Today David Martosko, Director of Research at the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom, issued the following statement:

The judicious and ethical use of animals is woven into practically every part of the American experience, and Mr. Sunstein’s confirmation is a sad indication that radical ideology can trump our way of life. Sunstein embraces the fringe belief that animals are people, and people are animals. Now that his philosophy can inform government policy, Americans who raise animals for food, hunters and fishermen-and even cancer researchers who use lab animals-could find their work prohibitively expensive or a red-tape nightmare.

Cass Sunstein perfectly represents a segment of society that wants to exercise as much control over ordinary Americans as possible: control over what we eat, what we drive, how we stay healthy, and even which doctors we can afford. Our personal freedoms shouldn’t be subject to the whims of a political ‘czar’ who gets his values from a PETA website.

The Congressional Research Service reports that between 1968 and 2006, only 54 judicial and executive nominees-out of many thousands-needed a cloture vote to escape the objections of U.S. Senators. Majority Leader Harry Reid’s use of this tactic is a good indication of just how radical Cass Sunstein’s views are, and how far out of step animal-rights dogma is with ordinary Americans.

Founded in 1996, the Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to promoting personal responsibility and protecting consumer choices. For more information, visit


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