Repost from Forbes: Midnight in the garden of rules and regulations

by Susan Dudley (Original source: Forbes)

With less than 2 months left in his presidency, Donald Trump has few options for leaving his mark, even if he were willing to stop fulminating over the election and focus on policy. He can issue executive orders, but President-elect Biden will likely revoke them as soon as he takes office, and there’s not much Trump can accomplish legislatively in the lame duck session of congress. However, there is one significant tool he can use to affect policy in his final days, and that is regulation.

Any regulations his agencies finalize by January 20th can hobble the Biden team’s efforts to begin to enact their policies. (As I noted previously, while the Biden administration can withdraw regulations that aren’t published by January 20th, they will have to invest time and resources to overturn rules that made it into the Federal Register before they take office.)

If previous administrations are any indicator, we should expect the Trump administration to ramp up regulatory activity in its final months. This propensity to issue “midnight regulations” is well-documented, with analogies to Cinderella’s rush to leave the ball before her coach turns into a pumpkin. “Midnight” in this context is often defined as the lame duck period between Election Day and Inauguration Day. My colleagues have examined historic trends in regulatory activity and found that administrations issue about three times as many regulations in their post-election quarter as they do during that same period in other years.

Continue reading the original article on Forbes.