Trump signs order giving agency heads more power to appoint regulatory judges

Trump signs order giving agency heads more power to appoint regulatory judges
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President TrumpDonald TrumpMcCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Biden's Supreme Court reform study panel notes 'considerable' risks to court expansion Bennie Thompson not ruling out subpoenaing Trump MORE on Tuesday signed an executive order aimed at tightening his administration’s control over regulatory judges.

The order allows agency heads to directly hire administrative law judges, the officials who rule on legal issues related to government regulations.

Previously, appointments had to go through the Office of Personnel Management, but the Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the judges should be considered “inferior officers” rather than regular employees, which will allow agency heads that are political appointees to make hires.


There are about 2,000 of the judges employed throughout the government, primarily in the Social Security Administration, according to a Politico report.

The order will also make it easier for the Trump administration to fire the judges, and follows the president’s May directives that made it easier to fire federal employees.

The White House said in a statement that the order “reduces legal uncertainty” about judges’ appointments, and pre-empts arguments that their decisions should be overturned.

The executive order is another step in Trump’s fight against the regulatory state. Trump has vowed to dramatically roll back federal regulations, one of his campaign promises, and signed an executive order in January requiring agencies to revoke two regulations for every new one.