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US judge rejects Trump directives easing ability to fire federal workers

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A U.S. federal judge on Saturday rejected key elements of President Donald Trump’s May executive orders that would make it easier to fire federal employees and reduce their ability to bargain collectively.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, said in a court order that Trump’s orders, which also would reduce the amount of time low-performing employees had to improve their performance before being fired, “undermine federal employees’ right to bargain collectively.”

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Trump signed three executive orders in May that administration officials said would give government agencies greater ability to remove employees with “poor” performance, obtain “better deals” in union contracts and require federal employees with union responsibilities to spend less time on union work.
The directives drew immediate criticism from the American Federation of Government Employees, which said the moves would hurt veterans, law enforcement officers and others.

Jackson ruled that while the president has the authority to issue executive orders relating to federal labor relations, the orders cannot “eviscerate the right to bargain collectively” as envisioned in a long-standing federal statute.

“The President must be deemed to have exceeded his authority in issuing (the orders),” Jackson ruled.

Reporting by Yasmeen Abutaleb in Washington; Editing by Leslie Adler and Matthew Lewis


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Bill Barr and Trump desperately want to blame Antifa for violence — but they’re coming up dry so far

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President Donald Trump has turned his wrath on Antifa during the George Floyd protests, demanding Antifa be labeled a terrorist organization and accusing the movement of committing acts of violence at demonstrations. But journalists William Bredderman and Spencer Ackerman, in the Daily Beast, threw cold this week on efforts to blame the leftist group.

They found that “none of the 22 criminal complaints representing the first wave of protest charges mention Antifa in any way.”

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2020 Election

Fox News poll spells doom for GOP in Arizona

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The GOP's chances in Arizona have not looked this bad in years.

This article first appeared in Salon.

A new Fox News poll of registered voters in the Grand Canyon State shows Democrat Mark Kelly miles ahead of Republican Sen. Martha McSally — 50% to 37% — with 8% undecided.

Further, McSally's problems appear to come from within her own party. While Kelly enjoys the support of nearly 90% of Democrats, only 73% of Arizona Republicans back McSally.

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Trump may come to regret his big celebration of a small dip in unemployment

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Though the unemployment rate remains in the double-digits, the official unemployment numbers are slightly lower than economists expected, prompting self-congratulations by President Donald Trump.

This article first appeared in Salon.

But experts say celebration is premature.

Indeed, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate fell from 14.7 percent in April to 13.3 percent in May as the economy added 2.5 million jobs. The high April number was the worst that the American workforce had seen since monthly record-keeping began in 1948, and almost certainly the worst since the Great Depression. White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett predicted last month that unemployment would rise above 20 percent, a view that was widely shared by economists.

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