Combatting Deregulation with Regulatory Horcruxes

A recent report released by the Office of Management and Budget boasts of the Trump Administration’s “regulatory freedom agenda,” which purports to have taken 12 deregulatory actions for every one regulatory action since President Donald J. Trump took office. Although the Trump Administration views deregulation as an accomplishment, Sarah Light, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, argues that the premature “regulatory exits” resulting from deregulation are worrisome. Light explains that regulatory exit—a deliberate retreat from government intervention—is especially troubling when the initial problem that a regulation is intended to address remains unsolved. In order to safeguard against these undesirable types of exits, Light suggests that regulatory programs can be insulated through the use of regulatory “horcruxes”—a term used in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels to represent items into which the…

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