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Trump’s 2-for-1 Regulations Order Survives States’ Legal Attack

April 2, 2020, 9:20 PM

President Donald Trump’s executive order directing agencies to scrap two regulations for every new one they create has weathered another legal assault, as a federal court on Thursday scrapped a challenge from California and other states.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that California, Oregon, and Minnesota lacked standing to challenge the directive because they couldn’t show it directly harmed them.

The states filed suit last year, noting specific regulatory moves they say were motivated by the order. But Judge Randolph D. Moss concluded “they have not shown that either the two-for-one rule or the annual cap caused the relevant agency to act or to decline to act.”

Trump issued the so-called “2-for-1" order in 2017, seeking to reduce regulatory requirements for regulated industries and cap the amount of annual net costs from federal rules.

The states had argued that the approach was unconstitutional and in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.

The district court in December scrapped a similar challenge from Public Citizen, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Communication Workers of America.

State officials and the White House didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The case is California v. Trump, D.D.C., No. 1:19-cv-00960, 4/2/20.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ellen M. Gilmer in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gregory Henderson at