D.C. Circuit declines to rehear case challenging Trump’s civil service executive orders; injunction set to be lifted

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit declined a rehearing request before the full court on Wednesday in a case challenging President Donald Trump’s (R) three civil service executive orders. Unless plaintiffs appeal the case further, the court’s decision could wrap up over a year of litigation and lift an injunction that has prevented the Trump administration from implementing provisions of the executive orders related to the use of union official time.
 
President Trump issued the civil service executive orders (E.O. 13837, E.O. 13836, and E.O.13839) in May 2018. The orders include proposals aimed at facilitating the removal of poor-performing federal employees and streamlining collective bargaining procedures. Union groups, including the American Federation of Government Employees, the National Treasury Employees Union, and 13 smaller unions, filed suit to prevent the orders from taking effect.
 
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued an injunction in August 2018 blocking Trump administration officials from implementing nine provisions of the executive orders that she claimed unlawfully restricted the use of union official time. A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed Jackson’s ruling in July, holding that the lower court did not have jurisdiction and that the plaintiffs should have brought their case before the Federal Labor Relations Authority as required by the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
 
The plaintiffs requested a rehearing _en banc_ before the full D.C. Circuit in August, but the court denied the request on Wednesday without providing a rationale for its decision. As a result, the injunction blocking provisions of the executive orders from taking effect is set to be lifted by October 2, 2019.
 
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Caitlin Styrsky

Caitlin Styrsky is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at caitlin.styrsky@ballotpedia.org

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