Public Citizen, NRDC, and Communication Workers of America, AFL-CIO, v. Donald Trump


Just 20 days into the Trump presidency, NRDC, Public Citizen, and the Communication Workers of America, AFL-CIO, working with Earthjustice, sued President Trump and his administration to block an alarming executive order. Signed on January 30, the order directs that no federal agency may issue a significant new rule—regardless of the benefits—unless its costs are offset by the repeal of at least two existing rules.

This executive order, which is not authorized by any statute, will block, weaken, or delay new safeguards authorized and mandated by Congress across a broad range of environmental, health, consumer, and labor concerns. Although previous presidents have asked agencies to calculate the costs and benefits of particular rules, no president before Trump has ever tried to impose a regulatory cost cap or forced agencies to consider the costs of unrelated rules when creating a new one. And certainly no president has ever conditioned an agency’s issuance of a new rule on repealing two or more existing rules.

Our summary judgment brief contends that the executive 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 millions of Americans. We are asking the court to stop the administration from implementing and enforcing the order.

On February 26, 2018, the court dismissed our complaint on procedural grounds—holding that the plaintiffs had not yet shown that Trump’s executive order was injuring them—but left the door open to a future challenge. On April 2, the plaintiffs filed a motion for leave to file a second, amended complaint. We argue that the amended complaint sufficiently establishes standing, and are requesting that the court reconsider the summary judgment motion.

Last Updated

April 02, 2018

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NRDC and Partners Sue Trump Administration Over 2-for-1 Regulations Order

WASHINGTON – The Natural Resources Defense Council, together with Public Citizen and the Communications Workers of America, sued the Trump administration today, seeking to block a January 30 executive order requiring agencies to repeal two existing regulations for each new regulation it puts in place.

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