President Donald Trump is working at a fevered pace to level the federal administrative state, and his latest executive order impacts Administrative Law Judges (ALJ). He is changing the process so ALJ are selected in concordance with the Appointments Clause of the Constitution.
Because of Trump’s executive order, agency heads can now hire and fire ALJ. They will now have to actually do their jobs and will no longer have their incompetence protected by the powerful federal bureaucracy. Accountability and standards are coming back to Washington D.C. thanks to the Trump administration.
“I find that conditions of good administration make necessary an exception to the competitive hiring rules and examinations for the position of ALJ,” Trump said.
Trump’s executive order will allow more leeway for agency leaders to find potential appointees without being held back by competitive examination and competitive service selection procedures. Trump believes this will help agency leaders to assess ALJ candidates on the basis of work ethic, quality judgment, and capability to meet the needs of the particular agency.
The executive order describes the current regulatory schemes pertaining to ALJ as “complicated and elaborate examination processes or rating procedures that do not necessarily reflect the agency’s particular needs.” Trump lists a decision earlier this year by the Supreme Court in Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission giving him the authority to make this decision cutting red tape that prevents the federal bureaucracy from working for the American people.
Liberal observers, of course, are crying foul at this restructuring of the federal bureaucracy. They want the corrupt status quo to remain intact.
“The real concern becomes that you’re going to have administrative law judges in these agencies who are either there because they’re deeply sympathetic to the regulated industries, or because they’re deeply hostile to the regulated industries,” said University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck to NPR. “Either way you lose the veneer of independent adjudication on which so much of the modern administrative state rests.”
“This change will politicize our courts, lead to cronyism and replace independent and impartial adjudicators with those who do the bidding of political appointees,” said Marilyn Zahm, who serves as president of the Association of Administrative Law Judges.
Regardless of these well-connected detractors who are served by the status quo, Trump moves forward despite their objections toward his goal of making America great again.
“We’re going to run government smoothly, efficiently, and on behalf of the very hardworking taxpayers,” Trump said.