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Case Name Public Citizen, Inc. v. Trump PR-DC-0002
Docket / Court 1:17-cv-00253 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority
Special Collection Take Care
Attorney Organization Earthjustice
Case Summary
On February 8, 2017, three organizations—Public Citizen, Inc., Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., and Communications Workers of America—filed this lawsuit against the United States of America, President Donald Trump, and 14 federal agencies, in the U.S. District Court for the District of ... read more >
On February 8, 2017, three organizations—Public Citizen, Inc., Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., and Communications Workers of America—filed this lawsuit against the United States of America, President Donald Trump, and 14 federal agencies, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The case was assigned to Judge Randolph D. Moss.

One week prior, on January 30, President Trump had signed Executive Order 13771.The order instructed federal agencies to rescind at least two existing regulations for every new regulation issued, and to ensure that the costs of new regulations were offset by the rescinded regulations. All regulations promulgated during fiscal year 2017 were required to have net costs of $0, regardless of benefits. The plaintiffs sought a declaration that Executive Order 13771 violated the Take Care Clause, exceeded Article II presidential power, and infringed on legislative authority, and was therefore invalid. They sought a declaration that the agencies could not lawfully implement or comply with the order, and sought an injunction preventing them from complying with the order. They argued that the order’s requirements would harm the people of the United States, and that the decision-making process required by this order was arbitrary and capricious, in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.

On April 21, 2017 the plaintiffs amended their complaint. The government filed a motion to dismiss on May 12, and on May 15 the plaintiffs moved for summary judgment. On February 26, 2018 the court granted the government’s motion to dismiss, denying the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment. 297 F. Supp. 3d 6. It found that the plaintiffs had failed to meet their burden of establishing standing to sue: they had failed to allege that the order would “substantially increase the risk” of harm to any of their members.

The plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint two months later on April 20, 2018. On June 4, California and Oregon intervened as plaintiffs, arguing that they had “unique interests in the health and well-being of their citizens, natural resources, infrastructure, institutions, and economies” which could not be adequately represented by the non-governmental plaintiffs in the case. The following year, on February 8, 2019, the court denied the government’s motion to dismiss the second amended complaint: the plaintiffs had demonstrated standing to sue, sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss. 361 F. Supp. 3d 60. However, the court simultaneously denied the plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment: they had “done enough to stay afloat but not enough to move forward.” Because there was still doubt as to standing, and therefore as to the court’s jurisdiction, the court denied the states’ motion to intervene as premature, indicating that they could renew their motion if the court ultimately found it had jurisdiction.

But on December 20, 2019 the court granted the government’s summary judgment motion, holding that the plaintiffs had failed to adequately establish standing. It found that although the court had previously “provided Plaintiffs with three opportunities to meet this burden and, most recently, allowed Plaintiffs to take focused discovery in aid of establishing jurisdiction,” the plaintiffs had still “failed to carry their burden.” 435 F. Supp. 3d 144.

The plaintiffs did not appeal the court’s decision; the case is now closed.

Robert Carnes - 11/10/2017
Lisa Limb - 03/23/2019
Bogyung Lim - 08/12/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) President Donald Trump
Twelve Federal Agencies
United States of America
Plaintiff Description Two national non-profit organizations focused on environmental and public health concerns, and an international labor union of workers in a wide variety of public sector positions in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Earthjustice
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filed 02/08/2017
Case Closing Year 2019
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Public Citizen v. Trump
Public Citizen
Date: 2020
By: Public Citizen
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:17-cv-00253 (D.D.C.)
PR-DC-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/20/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
PR-DC-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/08/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 63] (297 F.Supp.3d 6) (D.D.C.)
PR-DC-0002-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/26/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 67]
PR-DC-0002-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/20/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 85] (2019 WL 498528) (D.D.C.)
PR-DC-0002-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 02/08/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion (435 F.Supp.3d 144) (D.D.C.)
PR-DC-0002-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/20/2019
Source: Westlaw
show all people docs
Judges Moss, Randolph Daniel (D.D.C.) show/hide docs
PR-DC-0002-0003 | PR-DC-0002-0004 | PR-DC-0002-0005 | PR-DC-0002-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Calemine, Guerino J. III (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PR-DC-0002-0001
Goldman, Patti A. (Washington) show/hide docs
PR-DC-0002-0001 | PR-DC-0002-9000
Nelson, Scott Lawrence (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PR-DC-0002-0001 | PR-DC-0002-0002 | PR-DC-0002-9000
Segal, Cecilia D. (California) show/hide docs
PR-DC-0002-0002
Sherman, Sean M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PR-DC-0002-0001 | PR-DC-0002-0002 | PR-DC-0002-9000
Wall, Michael Edwin (California) show/hide docs
PR-DC-0002-0001 | PR-DC-0002-0002
Zieve, Allison Marcy (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PR-DC-0002-0001 | PR-DC-0002-0002 | PR-DC-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bensing, Daniel (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PR-DC-0002-9000
Drezner, Michael Leon (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PR-DC-0002-9000
Lynch, Christopher M (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PR-DC-0002-9000
Shumate, Brett (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PR-DC-0002-9000
Other Lawyers Beckner, C Frederick III (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PR-DC-0002-9000
Brillembourg, Clara E (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PR-DC-0002-9000
Goldstein, Danielle Luce (California) show/hide docs
PR-DC-0002-9000
Gupta, Deepak (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PR-DC-0002-9000
Hansen, Greta Suzanne (California) show/hide docs
PR-DC-0002-9000
Hey, Elizabeth B (California) show/hide docs
PR-DC-0002-9000
Jaffe, Seth D (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
PR-DC-0002-9000
Johnson, Thomas Michael Jr. (West Virginia) show/hide docs
PR-DC-0002-9000
Lin, Elbert (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Meyer, Katherine A (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Morris, Ryan C (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Parseghian, Cicely O (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
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Peterson, Erica N. (West Virginia) show/hide docs
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Rumsey, Elizabeth B (California) show/hide docs
PR-DC-0002-9000
Serrano, Lawrence Javier (California) show/hide docs
PR-DC-0002-9000
Williams, James Robyzad (California) show/hide docs
PR-DC-0002-9000

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