February 19, 2017

WASHINGTON EXAMINER EDITORIAL: There Is No Fourth Branch Of Government.

Before Scott Pruitt was confirmed as the Environmental Protection Agency’s new administrator, the New York Times reported agency staff fighting against his nomination. This is highly unusual and inappropriate. It shows not only how difficult his new job will be but also how necessary it is that he succeed. And it shows, too, how great a threat rogue bureaucracy can become to constitutional order.

EPA scientists, lawyers and experts participated in an influence campaign aimed at senators, urging them to vote against Pruitt as their new boss. Their union’s leader, John O’Grady, promised a continuous campaign against President Trump’s environmental policies that their tactics would include “reaching out to NGOs and having alliances with them” and “working with P.R. firms.”

It is widely known and understandable that government employees are not Trump’s best constituency. But this sort of activism by federal employees, even outside election season, gets into dangerous territory.

This is why we need civil service reform.

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