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Watchdog group won’t appeal latest dismissal of lawsuit against ‘2-for-1’ deregulatory order

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Washington — Public Citizen will not appeal the second dismissal of its lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s “2-for-1” deregulatory Executive Order, a spokesperson for the watchdog group told Safety+Health Jan. 16.

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 actions” – those with an estimated “annual effect on the economy” of $100 million or more.

 

Judge Randolph D. Moss of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Dec. 20 ruled once again that Public Citizen, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Communication Workers of America could not establish standing in the case or how “any identifiable individual (or entity) is harmed, and whether any such harm – or risk of harm – is sufficient to established standing.”

Moss added that the order and White House Office of Management and Budget guidance provide no “mechanism” for notifying the public if a regulatory action was delayed or abandoned because of the requirements of the order. Instead, he stated the order does not stand alone but merely “reflects the current administration’s more general wariness of federal regulation.”

“Plaintiffs bear the burden of establishing their standing to sue,” wrote Moss, who initially dismissed the suit in February 2018. “They must show that the future injury that they allege is both ‘certainly impending,’ and ‘redressable by a favorable ruling,’ and they must demonstrate that they will suffer a cognizable, ‘personal and individual,’ as opposed to a generalized, harm in the absence of judicial intervention.”

The groups initially filed their lawsuit in February 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.”

Public Citizen had no official comment on the latest dismissal of the suit.

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