The Trump administration has racked up an embarrassing pile of 63 losses in federal courts over the last two years — and experts say it’s thanks to rank incompetence and a failure to do the very basic legwork of making sure new policies will pass legal muster.
“In case after case, judges have rebuked Trump officials for failing to follow the most basic rules of governance for shifting policy, including providing legitimate explanations supported by facts and, where required, public input,” the Washington Post reports.
The Trump team has a particularly high failure record in cases involving the Administrative Procedure Act, which the Post describes as a key law that defends against “arbitrary rule” by the executive branch.
Usually, under other presidents of both parties, the government wins about 70 percent of such cases. Under Trump, that win rate has been reduced to a pathetic six percent.
The Trump team makes it “very easy for the courts to reject them because they’re not doing their homework,” Georgetown Law’s William W. Buzbee, an expert on administrative law, told the Post.
The incompetence even frustrates Trump’s conservative allies.
Seth Jaffe, a pro-deregulation lawyer working for corporations, told the Post, “It’s not just that they’re losing. But they’re being so nuts about it.” He added that he thinks the Trump team’s mistakes have “set regulatory reform back for a period of time.”
But many of these policies aren’t just incompetently written; they’re also cruel and harmful. And Trump’s own words are often enough to convince a judge of this.
In at least a dozen cases, Trump’s nonsensical and bigoted comments have been cited in court and used against him. In one instance, Trump’s reference to countries with large nonwhite populations as “shit-hole” countries helped convince a judge to rule against Trump’s anti-Muslim travel ban because it was so clearly motivated by bias.
Thankfully, Trump’s failures in the courts have slowed his attempts to roll back environmental protections and regulations that keep millions of Americans safe.
When campaigning for the presidency, Trump promised the country that if elected, he would win so often that people would get “tired” of his winning.
But Americans know the truth — which is why they continually give him losing marks for job performance.
Trump values loyalty above all. Loyalty matters more than patriotism or even basic competence. As a result, the Trump administration is staffed with sycophants instead of competent federal employees who are capable of doing the intense work needed to run the government.
The team Trump assembled is losing because Trump has set himself and the country up to fail through poor leadership.
Published with permission of The American Independent.