Judge deals a blow to Trump effort to overhaul bureaucracy


Associated Press

WASHINGTON

A federal judge dealt a blow Saturday to President Donald Trump’s efforts to “promote more efficient” government, ruling that key provisions of three recent executive orders “undermine federal employees’ right to bargain collectively” under federal law.

U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson said Trump had “exceeded his authority” in issuing the orders.

The White House had no comment and referred questions to the Justice Department, which said it was reviewing the judge’s ruling and eyeing options. Federal worker unions that sued to block Trump’s use of his executive authority in this area applauded the outcome.

“President Trump’s illegal action was a direct assault on the legal rights and protections that Congress specifically guaranteed to the public-sector employees across this country who keep our federal government running every single day,” said J. David Cox Sr., national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, the largest of the federal worker unions.

Cox’s organization, which represents about 700,000 of the approximately 2 million-member federal workforce, was first to challenge the executive orders, filing two lawsuits.

The executive orders, issued by the White House in May, covered collective bargaining rights, grievance procedures and use of “official time.”

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