In the News


Anne O’Connell in the news:



Federal nominees turn to law firms to play vetting game

Anne Joseph O’Connell quoted in ABA Journal, November 1, 2013

But there are many drags other than pure politics, O’Connell says. For example, government has grown so large that the White House Office of Presidential Personnel sometimes is swamped and doesn’t move fast enough. And turnover is high: Top-level people, such as Cabinet members, leave after about three years, and their assistants or undersecretaries average two years, O’Connell says.


PolitiFact: Senate approved Bush second-term nominees much faster than Obama’s

Anne Joseph O’Connell cited in Tampa Bay Times, July 19, 2013

With the guidance of Anne Joseph O’Connell, associate dean at the University of California-Berkeley Law, we searched the nominations database at the Library of Congress. We found that the Senate has confirmed 68 of Obama’s nominees. By this point in the 109th Congress, the Senate had confirmed 129 of Bush’s nominees, nearly twice as many.


Five myths about presidential appointments

Anne Joseph O’Connell writes for The Washington Post, July 19, 2013

Our Constitution says presidents must execute laws passed by Congress. But what if the Senate won’t approve the people supposed to do the executing? A stalemate over this quandary ended this past week when Senate Democrats and Republicans struck a deal to confirm some of President Obama’s stalled nominees to agencies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But before we move on from this crisis, let’s tackle some misunderstandings about presidential appointments.


IRS scandal highlights leadership vacancies

Anne Joseph O’Connell quoted in CBS News, May 21, 2013

With time, the numbers are only getting worse, O’Connell told CBSNews.com: The Obama administration has been relatively slow to announce nominees, and the confirmation process has grown slower. “Both the White House and the Senate need to move faster,” she said. “We have a country to govern and few people to do it.”


Another awesome presidential responsibility: selecting members of the marine mammal commission

Anne Joseph O’Connell quoted in ProPublica, March 5, 2013

There’s also a potential upside to having the president appoint board members to minor boards and commissions, said Anne Joseph O’Connell, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who has studied presidential appointments. The positions are often part-time and don’t pay much. But if appointees get a call from the White House, O’Connell said, they might be more willing to serve.


Under Obama, more appointments go unfilled

Anne Joseph O’Connell quoted in ProPublica, February 27, 2013

“I think President Obama bears some responsibility and the Senate bears some responsibility,” said Anne Joseph O’Connell, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, whose research shows that Obama filled fewer positions in departments and executive agencies in his first year in the White House than any of the last four presidents.


Obama’s Second Term To-Do List Positioned to Out-Regulate Bush

Anne Joseph O’Connell quoted in Bloomberg Businessweek, March 15, 2012

Rulemaking rarely is as one-sided toward costs as critics sometimes make it out to be, O’Connell said. “The system is set up to make sure that agencies balance benefits and costs. The only way a rule is going to see very high costs is with even higher benefits,” she said.


Anne O’Connell Studies Impact of Administration’s Slow Rate of Appointments

Center for American Progress, April 21, 2010 by Anne Joseph O’Connell
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/04/waiting_for_leadership.html

This report offers politically feasible recommendations for both the White House and Senate, though these recommendations will take some real effort by the political branches. The White House and the Senate will have to make compromises—potentially more careerists in political positions and fewer holds on agency nominees, respectively, for example. But compromises are necessary to have a functioning and accountable modern bureaucracy.


Anne O’Connell Thinks Obama’s New Security Team Can Restore U.S. Image

KPIX, CBS5, January 9, 200 by Hank Plante
http://cbs5.com/video/?id=44302@kpix.dayport.com

“They have their work cut out for them,” says UC Berkeley Law School’s Anne Joseph O’Connell, who has written extensively on the intelligence community. “I think it definitely is a time for a new direction after this administration’s actions. The county’s reputation has suffered in terms of world opinion.”


Anne O’Connell Explains Intent of “Midnight Regulations”

NPR, News & Notes, Nov. 20, 2008 by Farai Chideya
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=97260899

“I think every outgoing president—Republican or Democrat—wants to extend his administration’s reach, so in the final months we see an attempt at locking in controversial policy decisions. Even if some of these decisions can be undone, the effort that the new administration has to put into undoing them prevents the new administration from starting their own regulatory agendas.”