CPSIA Update: As Expected, CPSC’s Nord Steps Down as Chairman

With June’s arrival, there’s be an expected shift in the organization of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, with Nancy Nord, a Republican appointee, stepping down as acting chairman to be replaced by Thomas Moore, a Democratic nominee. Nord will stay on as a CPSC commissioner; her term runs through 2012.

One shouldn’t anticipate any great policy or regulatory changes from the administrative switch, which was required by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. (Vice chairman becoming acting chairman, etc.) The chairman of multi-member regulatory boards like the CPSC has more personnel authority and can direct staff actions more easily than other members. Still, given the continued 1-1 split and the probable arrival this summer President Obama’s nominee, Inez Moore Tenenbaum, after her confirmation, the commission will just slog on. (AP story.)

There will be differences, to be sure. It’s hard to imagine Moore having asked the professional staff to write such a substantive response to the letter from Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) asking for details on implementation of the CPSIA. As chairman, Nord had the authority to ask for such a letter.

First as a Bush appointee and CPSC chairman, and then as acting chairman in 2009, Nord has suffered attacks by activist groups and others who unceasingly promote the expansion of the regulatory state. The calumnies from Capitol Hill for supposedly blocking effective application of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act were especially wrong and cynical; even Congress’ truest of true regulatory believers know the CPSIA is a legislative overreach and has caused terrible damage to businesses while depriving consumers of safe, desirable products.

Moore has served as acting chairman before, taking over the spot in November 2001. He’s been on the CPSC since 1995.

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