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D.C. Circuit Hears Arguments on Appeal of the Trump EO's Limiting Federal Union and Employee Rights

On April 4, 2019, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals heard from both the unions representing government employees and the government in the government’s appeal of the D.C. District Court decision. IFPTE General Counsel Teresa Ellis attended the oral arguments.

In August, in a victory for the coalition of unions representing federal workers, which includes IFPTE, the lower court held that the three executive orders dealing with collective bargaining, official time, and discipline of federal employees were invalid as they conflicted with the plain language and Congressional intent of the governing statutes.

At the oral arguments before the Appeals Court, the government argued that any challenges to the executive orders must be brought to the FLRA and that the courts have no original jurisdiction. Government lawyers further argued that any challenges to the executive orders should be brought individually against agencies to the FLRA.

The parties also spent significant time explaining their interpretations of Congressional intent in framing the federal collective bargaining statute, with the government arguing that it was possible for an executive order to inform the intent of the statute. The panel consists of Judges Randolph, Griffith, and Srinivasan; one George H.W. Bush appointee, one George W. Bush appointee, and one Obama appointee, respectively. The case is AFGE v. Trump, D.C. Circuit No. 18-5289.


4/4/2019 - Judges Fixate on Jurisdictional Question in Appeal of Decision Invalidating Trump Workforce Orders (GovExec)

8/25/2019 - Trump Executive Orders Deemed Mostly Illegal

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