Federal Employees News Digest
Court reinstates controversial workforce EOs
- By FEND Staff
- Jul 22, 2019
A federal court on July 16 reinstated President Donald Trump’s controversial workforce executive orders that aim to make it easier to fire federal workers and restrict their collective bargaining rights.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson last year ruled that nine provisions included in workforce executive orders issued by the president, violated the U.S. Constitution.
The administration appealed the ruling on grounds that the District court lacked jurisdiction and expertise in the matter.
A ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals agrees that the lower court did not have the authority to strike down provisions in the executive orders.
The ruling states, “We reverse because the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction. The unions must pursue their claims through the scheme established by the statute, which provides for administrative review by the [Federal Labor Relations Authority] followed by judicial review in the courts of appeals.”
It continues, “Congress may preclude district court jurisdiction by establishing an alternative statutory scheme for administrative and judicial review,” as they did in establishing the FLRA.
Union leaders contend that the FLRA can’t adjudicate a claim made against the president himself.
“This fight is not over. Not only will NTEU pursue every legal avenue to block these destructive executive fiats, but we will build on the progress we have made alerting Congress and the public about how the administration continues to attack and disrespect its own workforce,” NTEU National President Tony Reardon, said in a statement after the ruling, adding, “We do not believe the FLRA is equipped to consider our sweeping legal challenge to many different provisions contained in the orders.”
The next step is for NTEU to ask the full appeals court to hear the case again.
"These orders go to the heart of the federal law that clearly states collective bargaining in the federal government is in the public's interest, and we believe that the federal district courts had the authority to invalidate the provisions of the orders that violate that statute," NTEU said in the statement.