Saturday, March 4, 2017

Public Citizen v. Donald J. Trump

Via a unilateral Directive issued in just his second week in office, President Trump decreed that for any New Regulation to take effect, two or more Existing Public Protections would have to be eliminated.

Even worse, Trump’s Executive Order mandated the Elimination of Existing Rules for the purpose of offsetting the Costs of New Rules, while ignoring the benefits, even if the Existing Rules are entirely unrelated.

Trump’s Executive Order makes it almost impossible for "We The People" to protect ourselves from Dangerous Products, risks to Public Health, and the effects of Climate Change.

In Public Citizen v. Donald J. Trump, they argue that this Executive Order will require Federal Agencies to violate numerous Statutes.

Many Laws task Agencies with issuing Rules. None of those Laws permits an Agency to consider the Costs of Unrelated Rules when deciding whether to issue New Ones.

For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issues Car Safety standards. It has proposed that New Cars be required to have devices that let them “Talk” to each other about Speed, Direction, Braking Status, and the like. NHTSA estimates the Devices could prevent nearly half a million crashes and save roughly 1,000 lives a year. Drivers could save as much as $71 billion, more than 10 times the cost. But under Trump’s edict, NHTSA cannot issue that New Standard unless it can find other Rules to Eliminate, in a process that focuses on Costs and ignores Benefits: Money saved, Crashes avoided, and Lives spared, of both the New and Existing Standards.

It’s an impossible trade-off that requires the Agency to make Arbitrary Decisions, in Violation of the Law and the Agency’s responsibility to issue Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

So this is no abstraction, it’s a matter of life and death.

As explained in their lawsuit, by requiring Agencies to consider factors that are not permitted under the Law, the Executive Order usurps Congressional power and Violates the President’s Constitutional duty to take care that the Laws be Faithfully Executed.

There’s a great deal at stake here.

Their Lawsuit lists numerous currently planned Rules that would be Affected, Delayed, Weakened, or Deterred, due to Trump’s Executive Order:

- New limits on Workplace exposures to the Hazardous Chemical Styrene.

- New standards to prevent Health Workers from exposure to Infectious diseases.

- A Rule to prevent Mining equipment from Crushing Miners.

- Implementation of the newly amended Toxic Substances Control Act, under which the Environmental Protection Agency regulates Toxic Chemicals.

- A measure to avert Oil Train Derailments and Explosions.

- Energy Efficiency Standards that would save Consumers billions of dollars.

- Endangered Species Protections.

- New Clean Air Standards.

The Trump Administration will of course push back. There Litigators will make the most persuasive arguments possible, but it’s going to take a massive effort to fight what Trump is trying to get away with here.

The Case will move forward over the months ahead with an Exchange of Legal Filings. After the Trial Court Judge decides the Case, either side may and likely will Appeal.

Now is a time in American history when defending the things we cherish most requires doing things that aren’t easy.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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