Campaign for Liberty to New Administration: No Midnight Litigation

On Friday, new White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus issued a memo freezing work on all new regulations. This is the first step toward withdrawing the Obama administration's "midnight regulations." These are the regulations proposed between the election and inauguration that implement policies opposed by the incoming administration. In December, Campaign for Liberty co-signed a letter to then Vice-President elect Mike Pence urging the Trump-Pence administration to not just withdrawal midnight regulations, but end any midnight litigation launched by the Obama administration against private companies and aimed at using the courts to impose new federal mandates on American businesses:

December 28, 2016 The Honorable Mike Pence Vice President-Elect Presidential Transition Team Chairman 1800 F Street NW, Room G117 Washington, DC 20270-0117 Dear Vice President-Elect Pence: It has come to our attention that a number of Departments and independent agencies are working furiously behind closed doors to bring significant, legally tenuous litigation against American business interests before January 20, 2017. Doing so will saddle the Trump Administration with having to litigate cases based on job crushing liberal legal theories. Such “midnight litigation,” particularly litigation that does not concern imminent threats to health or safety, must receive the strictest of scrutiny from the transition, and we urge the new Administration in the strongest possible terms not to treat such litigation with deference. We have long been concerned about “midnight regulation” – regulations promulgated in the waning days of a lame duck administration. Because of this concern, Congress enacted the Congressional Review Act, which provides Congress procedural tools to disapprove expeditiously these last ditch midnight regulations. Congress, however, has no authority over litigation  brought by the Executive Branch, and it will be incumbent upon the Trump Administration to decide whether to continue to pursue such cases. President-elect Trump promised to “make American great again” and successfully argued that a rigged system has stymied growth, competitiveness and opportunity. This is due in no small measure to the Obama Administration’s war on business, which was again made apparent only days ago with the President’s executive action to ban offshore oil drilling in areas of the Artic and Atlantic Oceans. The mountains of regulations promulgated by the current Administration are a key reason economic growth has been dismally low. Litigation is another form of executive action that can have similar devastating impacts on American jobs and competitiveness and should be reviewed in the same manner that the Transition is  reviewing regulations. Should the Obama Administration bring non-routine, last minute, legally unorthodox midnight litigation, your Administration should not hesitate to withdraw immediately from that litigation. In such circumstances, the new Administration should not be constrained by notions of deference and should not support suspect legal theories that could have devastating economic effects for decades to come. We appreciate the difficult work ahead of you and wish you the best as you continue to prepare to undo the damage of the last eight years. Sincerely, George Landrith President Frontiers of Freedom Horace Cooper Senior Fellow Heartland Institute Grover Norquist President Americans for Tax Reform The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell Chairman Constitutional Congress, Inc. Richard A. Viguerie Chairman ConservativeHQ.com Morton Blackwell Chairman The Weyrich Lunch Phil Kerpen President American Commitment Jim Martin President 60 Plus Lew Uhler President National Tax Limitation Committee Judson Phillips Founder Tea Party Patriots David Williams President Taxpayers Protection Alliance Seton Motely President Less Government C. Preston Noell III President Tradition, Family, Property, Inc. Scott Vanatter President The Last Best Hope on Earth Institute Dee Hodges President Maryland Taxpayers Association Brent Gardner Chief Government Affairs Officer Americans for Prosperity Willes K. Lee President National Federation of Republican Assemblies Mark Thomas Founder Freedom & Prosperity Caucus John Cooper President Defending America Foundation Susan Taylor President Strengthening America for All William A. Estrada, Esq., Director of Federal Relations Home School Legal Defense Association Mat Staver, Esq. Founder & Chairman Liberty Counsel Lorenzo Montanari Executive Director Property Rights Alliance Katie McAuliffe Executive Director Digital Liberty Nicholas Willis President Americans for Liberty & Security Michael J. Bowen CEO Coalition for a Strong America Clyde Wayne Crews Vice President for Policy Competitive Enterprise Institute Charles Sauer President Market Institute Norm Singleton President Campaign for Liberty

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