Federal agencies Regulation

Judge dismisses lawsuit against ‘2-for-1’ Executive Order on federal regulations

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Washington — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s “2-for-1” deregulatory Executive Order, ruling that the plaintiffs have not shown how the order would harm their organizations or members.

However, Judge Randolph D. Moss of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia states in his decision that Public Citizen, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Communication Workers of America could have the proper standing to challenge the order in the future.

The order, issued Jan. 30, 2017, called for federal agencies to eliminate two existing regulations for every one introduced. The White House clarified in a guidance memo three days later that the order would apply only to “significant regulatory action” – those with an estimated “annual effect on the economy” of $100 million or more.

The groups filed their lawsuit Feb. 8, 2017, claiming the order “exceeds President Trump’s constitutional authority, violates his duty under the Take Care Clause of the Constitution, and directs federal agencies to engage in unlawful actions that will harm countless Americans, including plaintiffs’ members.” The plaintiffs got their day in court Aug. 10.

“President Trump’s deregulatory Executive Order aims to empower big business to pollute, cheat, rip off, endanger, discriminate and price gouge free from governmental restrictions,” Public Citizen President Robert Weissman said in a Feb. 26 press release. “Unfortunately, the court concluded that Public Citizen and colleague groups did not have standing to challenge the order at this time. But our members are being hurt right now by Trump’s order, and the order is impeding our ability to advocate.”

The Trump administration’s most recent regulatory agenda, released Dec. 14, touts a “3-for-1” plan, stating that “agencies plan to finalize three deregulatory actions for every new regulatory action in [fiscal year] 2018.”

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