A three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denied the Trump administration’s request for an expedited response to its appeal of a U.S. District Court ruling striking down the bulk of three illegal anti-worker executive orders.
The appellate court’s action means that the District Court’s well-reasoned order striking down the bulk of President Trump’s executive orders will remain in place while the appeal proceeds.
AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. applauds the appellate court for rejecting the administration’s request to expedite the schedule, which AFGE and other unions opposed. The court was correct to deny the government’s motion because the government failed to show good cause for an expedited briefing schedule.
“At its heart, this case is about the administration’s attempts to deprive 2.1 million workers of their rights to work with agency management to address and resolve workplace issues such as sexual harassment, racial discrimination, retaliation against whistleblowers, improving workplace health and safety, and enforcing reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities,” Cox said.
President Trump in May issued three executive orders that seek to undermine three things that serve as a protection for the merit systems and against the politicization of the civil service: removal procedure and merit principles, official time, and collective bargaining.
Our union subsequently filed lawsuits against the administration and has been joined by other unions. D.C. District Court Judge Ketanji Jackson in August invalidated several core provisions of the president’s executive orders.
“In short, there is no dispute that the principle mission of the [The Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute] is to protect the collective bargaining rights of federal workers, based on Congress’s clear and unequivocal finding that “labor organizations and collective bargaining in the civil service are in the public interest,” the judge wrote. “This Court has concluded that many of the challenged provisions of the Orders at issue here effectively reduce the scope of the right to bargain collectively as Congress has crafted it, or impair the ability of agency officials to bargain in good faith as Congress has directed, and therefore cannot be sustained.”
While several agencies immediately complied with the judge’s order, many agencies resisted, prompting the Office of Personnel Management to issue a memo directing agencies to comply with the judge’s ruling and restore employees’ legal right to representation.
The Trump administration later appealed the judge’s decision and sought to expedite the process, which the appeals court denied.