Statement | Labor Law

Letter Supporting Amendment That Would Protect Judges from Political Cronyism

The Honorable Pete Sessions, Chair
The Honorable Jim McGovern, Ranking Member
Committee on Rules
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Sessions and Ranking Member McGovern:

The AFL-CIO strongly supports Representative Bobby Scott’s amendment to the FY 2019 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill to block the Office of Personnel Management and other agencies from funding the implementation of a July 10, 2018 Executive Order (EO) that moves our nation’s federal Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) from the competitive civil service to the excepted service.

This EO eliminates a long-standing competitive merit selection process for ALJs that has ensured they are not captives of political cronyism. The Administration’s plan would change that. It would allow an Administration to give their political loyalists a job, packing the agencies with ALJs sympathetic to Administration views.

The American people depend on impartial decision makers and procedural fairness when they appeal federal rulings involving Social Security disability benefits, discrimination claims and protected organizing activity. Similarly, ALJs need the full protections of the civil service to ensure their independence from political pressure. We urge you to support Rep. Scott’s amendment.

William Samuel, Director
Government Affairs Department