The White House.

Two-for-one Executive Order

  • Jan­u­ary 2017

    With­in ten days of his inau­gu­ra­tion, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump signed Exec­u­tive Order 13771, Reduc­ing Reg­u­la­tion and Con­trol­ling Reg­u­la­to­ry Costs,” which requires fed­er­al agen­cies to repeal two reg­u­la­tions for each new reg­u­la­tion issued.

  • Feb­ru­ary 2017

    A coali­tion of non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tions filed a law­suit chal­leng­ing the exec­u­tive order short­ly there­after, seek­ing declara­to­ry and injunc­tive relief based on con­sti­tu­tion­al and Admin­is­tra­tive Pro­ce­dure Act (APA) grounds.

  • May 2018

    In May 2018, Cal­i­for­nia Attor­ney Gen­er­al Xavier Becer­ra and Ore­gon Attor­ney Gen­er­al Ellen Rosen­blum moved to inter­vene in the law­suit. The motion seeks to strike down the exec­u­tive order because it vio­lates the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ly pro­tect­ed sep­a­ra­tion of pow­ers (by seek­ing to autho­rize the Exec­u­tive Branch to nul­li­fy con­gres­sion­al­ly-autho­rized reg­u­la­to­ry activ­i­ty), while also being non-com­pli­ant with the APA

  • April 2019

    Lat­er, in April 2019, Cal­i­for­nia Attor­ney Gen­er­al Becer­ra and the attor­neys gen­er­al of Ore­gon and Min­neso­ta filed a sep­a­rate law­suit chal­leng­ing the two-for-one exec­u­tive order.

    The law­suit not­ed that the two-for-one” exec­u­tive order vio­lates the Constitution’s sep­a­ra­tion of pow­ers doc­trine by direct­ing agen­cies to take actions that run afoul of con­gres­sion­al­ly-enact­ed statutes in requir­ing agen­cies to repeal two con­gres­sion­al­ly-autho­rized rules for every new con­gres­sion­al­ly-autho­rized rule that agen­cies issue – regard­less of the agen­cies’ inde­pen­dent statu­to­ry oblig­a­tions to imple­ment Con­gres­sion­al direc­tives. The attor­neys gen­er­al also pled that the exec­u­tive order vio­lates the APA’s arbi­trary and capri­cious stan­dard because it requires an agency in issu­ing a new rule to con­sid­er fac­tors Con­gress did not intend for it to con­sid­er and that have no nexus to the sub­stan­tive mer­it of the pro­posed rule.

    The attor­neys gen­er­al demon­strat­ed their stand­ing to sue based on the exec­u­tive order’s inap­pro­pri­ate influ­ence on time­ly imple­men­ta­tion of impor­tant pub­lic health, safe­ty and envi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tions, caus­ing harm to the health and well-being of their states’ cit­i­zens, nat­ur­al resources, and infrastructure.

  • Decem­ber 2019

    In Decem­ber 2019, a fed­er­al dis­trict court in the Dis­trict of Colum­bia dis­missed the non­prof­it-led law­suit chal­leng­ing the two-for-one exec­u­tive order, find­ing that the non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tions lacked stand­ing to pur­sue their claim. 

  • April 2020

    In April 2020, the court dis­missed the attor­neys gen­er­al suit for lack of standing.