Species act overhaul
The White House proposed an overhaul of the 1973 Endangered Species Act that would let government officials, rather than independent experts, evaluate the environmental impact of proposed policies. The changes were described as “narrow” by Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne. But critics say the changes would gut the law by allowing agencies to ignore the environmental consequences of their actions.

No charges over tainted hiring
Justice officials who improperly took politics into consideration when making hiring decisions will not be prosecuted, Attorney General Michael Mukasey said this week. “Not every wrong, or even every violation of the law, is a crime,” he said. Justice officials who vetted job-seekers based on their loyalty to President Bush and political affiliations may have violated civil-service law, Mukasey said—but such violations are never prosecuted criminally.