Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

D.C. Circuit Victory for President Trump

Last August, in what the Washington Post hailed as a victory for federal-employee unions, federal district judge Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote a 119-page opinion enjoining executive-branch officials from implementing provisions of three of President Trump’s executive orders that (in the Post’s summary) “aimed at making it easier to fire employees and weaken their representation.”

But in a unanimous ruling today by an ideologically diverse panel (in American Federation of Government Employees v. Trump), the D.C. Circuit held that the district court lacked jurisdiction to decide the case, as a federal statute vests adjudication of federal labor disputes in the Federal Labor Relations Authority, subject to direct review only in the D.C. Circuit. Judge Thomas Griffith wrote the panel opinion, which was joined most notably by Obama appointee Sri Srinivasan as well as by Bush 41 appointee Raymond Randolph.

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