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Obama czar pick: 'Raving animal rights nut'

Posted By Chelsea Schilling On 07/24/2009 @ 12:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled


Cass Sunstein

President Obama’s friend and nominee for “regulatory czar” is a “raving animal rights nut” who has a secret agenda, according to one consumer group.

David Martosko, director of the Center for Consumer Freedom, told Fox News’ Glenn Beck that Cass Sunstein, the Harvard Law professor nominated by the president to become the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, is a “raving animal rights nut” and devout disciple of Peter Singer.

Singer, a bioethics professor at Princeton University, is a leader in the animal rights movement. He has also argued that abortion should be permissible because unborn babies as old as 18 weeks cannot feel pain or satisfaction.

Singer once explained his belief that, “killing a newborn baby is never equivalent to killing a person, that is, a being who wants to go on living.”

In 1993, Singer said infants lack “rationality, autonomy and self-consciousness.”

“Infants lack these characteristics,” he said. “Killing them, therefore, cannot be equated with killing normal human beings, or any other self-conscious beings.”

Martosko told Beck, “When you embrace this whole utilitarian idea, guess what else comes in the back door? Some animals, according to Singer, are worth more than some humans. A smart border collie, he says, is worth more, inherently, than a retarded child. … Cass Sunstein has embraced the whole enchilada. … He believes that animals should have some of the same rights as humans, in fact, greater rights than some people – including the right to follow lawsuits.”

Sunstein has also supported outlawing sport hunting, giving animals the legal right to file lawsuits and using government regulations to phase out meat consumption.

The center quotes Sunstein’s 2007 speech at Harvard University, where he argued in favor of “eliminating current practices such as … meat eating” and proposed: “We ought to ban hunting, I suggest, if there isn’t a purpose other than sport and fun. That should be against the law. It’s time now.”

He also said, “[Humans'] willingness to subject animals to unjustified suffering will be seen … as a form of unconscionable barbarity… morally akin to slavery and the mass extermination of human beings.”

According to the group, Sunstein was editor of the 2004 book “Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions” that said “animals should be permitted to bring suit, with human beings as their representatives … Any animals that are entitled to bring suit would be represented by (human) counsel, who would owe guardian-like obligations and make decisions, subject to those obligations, on their clients’ behalf.”

Martosko believes if Sunstein becomes “regulatory czar,” he could “spell the end of animal agriculture, retail sales of meat and dairy foods, hunting and fishing, biomedical research, pet ownership, zoos and aquariums, traveling circuses, and countless other things Americans take for granted.”

“Cass Sunstein owes Americans an honest appraisal of his animal rights agenda as America’s top regulator,” Martosko said in a statement. “Americans don’t realize that the next four years could be full of bizarre initiatives plucked from the wildest dreams of the animal-rights fringe.”

As WND reported, Sunstein has also been an outspoken proponent of tough restriction on gun sales and ownership and what has been characterized as a “Fairness Doctrine” for the Internet. Revelations about Cass Sunstein’s views on the “Fairness Doctrine” come in a book by Brad O’Leary, “ Shut Up, America! The End of Free Speech.” Sunstein also has argued in his prolific literary works that the Internet is anti-democratic because of the way users can filter out information of their own choosing.

Several senators have expressed concern about Sunstein’s stances, and two “holds” have been placed on his nomination.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., blocked Sunstein’s nomination last month.

“Chambliss worries that Sunstein’s innovative legal views may someday lead to a farmer having to defend himself in court against a lawsuit filed on behalf of his chickens or pigs,” The Hill reported.

Chambliss told The Hill that he blocked Sunstein’s nomination because the law professor “has said that animals ought to have the right to sue folks.”

However, Chambliss later removed his hold because he said Sunstein had assured him that he “would not take any steps to promote litigation on behalf of animals,” and that he believes the “Second Amendment creates an individual right to possess guns for purposes of both hunting and self defense.”

But Sunstein is now facing another hold on his Senate confirmation process.

According to Fox News, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas., believes Sunstein could use the position to push a radical animal rights agenda and impose restrictions on agriculture and hunting.

“Sen. Cornyn finds numerous aspects of Mr. Sunstein’s record troubling, specifically the fact that he wants to establish legal ‘rights’ for livestock, wildlife and pets, which would enable animals to file lawsuits in American courts,” Cornyn spokesman Kevin McLaughlin, told the news organization.

The American Conservative Union is offering an opportunity for Americans to sound off on Sunstein’s agenda. The organization has created a website called Stop Sunstein through which readers can submit petition signatures to members of the U.S. Senate. It also provides a 12-page list of Sunstein’s most controversial quotes.


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