Time zones in the US are regulated by the Department of Transport, and can thus be changed by the executive without new legislation. Could Trump order the DoT to put the continental US in time zones UTC-24005 to UTC-24008 instead of UTC-5 to UTC-8 and thus delay Biden’s inauguration by a thousand days (as measured by UTC).

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    Can Trump order the Space Force to put the continental US in the Crab Nebula and thus delay Biden's inauguration by 6000 years? Can Trump order the Library of Congress to put the continental US in Wonderland and delay Biden's inauguration until the Queen of Hearts gets her tarts back?
    – Obie 2.0
    Jan 3 at 6:49
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    @Obie2.0 Not a good analogy at all, because the time zone can be changed with the stroke of a pen
    – Mike Scott
    Jan 3 at 6:52
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    Gotta say, hilarious idea, even if it's a bad question. Jan 3 at 6:53
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    @Obie2.0 Time zones are purely manmade. No time zone exists until someone starts using it. And any time zone that any country declares it is using exists exactly as much as any other time zone.
    – Mike Scott
    Jan 3 at 7:13
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    Don't give him ideas!
    – Déjà vu
    Jan 3 at 13:31


15 USC § 261 gives the Department of Transport the ability to define the boundaries between time zones, but it sets in law how far behind UTC the time zones themselves are.

  • 3
    So Trump’s Presidency could be extended by six hours, by putting Washington DC in UTC-11 on 20 January.
    – Mike Scott
    Jan 3 at 9:20
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    But under the same statute UTC is subject to interpretation and modification "by the Secretary of Commerce in coordination with the Secretary of the Navy."
    – phoog
    Jan 4 at 16:45

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