One Hand on Light Switch, Obama Isn’t Flipping to ‘Off’ Just Yet

Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club, praised the president for acting to pre-empt his successor by designating three civil rights sites, ensuring that they are guaranteed recognition and protection “just days before Donald Trump takes office.”

So far, Mr. Obama has not issued any surprise pardons — though he has every right to exercise that power through his final day in office, the way President Bill Clinton pardoned Marc Rich, a tax fugitive.

At the same time, some things are already out of Mr. Obama’s reach. Federal law will not allow him to release more detainees from Guantánamo Bay after four more were released on Jan. 5. There is not enough time to finish the legal framework to regulate emissions from…

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