Federal judge dismisses challenge to Trump order to eliminate regulations

Federal judge dismisses challenge to Trump order to eliminate regulations

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Monday granted [order, PDF] the government’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit [JURIST report] challenging President Donald Trump’s 2 for 1 executive order [JURIST report] that mandated agencies eliminate two existing regulations for each new one created.

Judge Randolph Moss dismissed the lawsuit finding that the plaintiffs, Public Citizen, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the union Communications Workers of America [advocacy websites], failed to establish standing. However, Moss allowed for the possibility that the plaintiffs may show standing through an amended complaint. He ordered the parties to appear before the Court on March 1 to address appropriate next steps, including whether the court should enter final judgment.

The judge held that the plaintiffs failed to adequately establish standing on either of the theories they put forward: associational/representational standing, or organizational standing. Regarding associational standing, the court stated:

[Plaintiffs failed] to show that any delay of the regulatory action attributable to the Executive Order will substantially increase the risk that any of their members will be harmed or that any of their members will face a substantial probability of harm once such an increase in risk is taken into account.

Additionally, the court said the plaintiffs failed to establish organizational standing on the basis that the executive order would force their organizations to balance advocacy for new agency rules against the loss of two existing rules: “[P]laintiffs do not assert that they have actually declined—or will actually decline—to pursue a new rule out of concern that the Executive Order will require the relevant agency to rescind two existing rules.”

It is unclear [NLJ report] when Moss will make a decision in the case.