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This article examines the George W. Bush administration’s efforts to apply New Public Management reforms to the Department of Homeland Security. The primary focus is the administration’s attempt to implement the law. The managerial strategy that Department of Homeland Security and Office of Personnel Management executives used to carry out the law in the massive new department receives attention, with a special focus on the approach used in dealing with the federal courts. The article suggests five general lessons concerning civil service deregulation at the federal level. The case reaffirms the notion that successful administrative reform requires a keen appreciation for the politics that shape it.