AFGE filed its lawsuit against President Trump May 30 after he signed new Executive Orders that erode the rights of bargaining union employees who have been targeted by agency senior leadership for quicker firing over the past year.
The lawsuit correctly pushes back against the President for using his executive branch authority to legislate against certain statutes created by Congress. As far as I can tell, the President cannot legislate much less use Executive Orders to trump statutes created by Congress. Presidents traditionally must take conflicts of law to the courts.
I know a lot of you do not like what AFGE National has done over the past decades by putting union employees ahead of the veterans those employees are supposed to serve. And I agree.
That said, if Trump is allowed to legislation against statutes using Executive Orders, we will all be in big trouble the next time another President tries to do the same.
Generally speaking, the President is supposed to enforce the laws. Congress is supposed to make the laws. And the Judiciary is supposed to interpret the laws when there is a conflict.
What we have seen over the past few decades are a usurpation of authority by President after President swiftly growing the number of Executive Orders. The trend is toward the totalitarian model of leadership where the Executive holds all power for ease of ruling.
Now, do I like what AFGE is focusing on within the lawsuit? No.
They are not pushing back against some of the questionable practices VA is now using to illicitly terminate disabled veterans from the ranks. Instead, they are pushing back against the element of the EO that prohibits “official time” – – this is a program where taxpayers pay the salary of union officials – – For VA, this is where the agency pays a full-time employee to work for the union.
Trump’s move on this issue has the effect of reducing the federal union footprint that essentially has become a massive funding source for progressive political agendas during election cycles.
Here is the press release about the lawsuit in italics.
AFGE: White House directive illegally denies workers their right to representation
WASHINGTON – The largest union representing federal government workers, the American Federation of Government Employees, sued the Trump Administration Wednesday in response to an executive order President Trump issued to deny workers their legal right to representation at the worksite.
“This president seems to think he is above the law, and we are not going to stand by while he tries to shred workers’ rights,” AFGE said. “This is a democracy, not a dictatorship. No president should be able to undo a law he doesn’t like through administrative fiat.”
On Friday, May 25, President Trump signed executive orders that chip away at due process and collective bargaining rights for federal employees; a third executive order, which impedes employee representation at the job site, is the focus of the lawsuit.
AFGE filed the lawsuit May 30 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The lawsuit challenges the executive order as violating the right to freedom of association guaranteed by the First Amendment, and as exceeding the president’s authority under the Constitution of the United States.
“Congress passed these laws to guarantee workers a collective voice in resolving workplace issues and improving the services they deliver to the public every day – whether it’s caring for veterans, ensuring our air and water are safe, preventing illegal weapons and drugs from crossing our borders, or helping communities recover from hurricanes and other disasters,” AFGE said.
“We will not stand by and let this administration willfully violate the Constitution to score political points.”