Aug. 25 (UPI) -- A federal judge ruled Friday against key parts of three executive orders President Donald Trump signed in May that unions challenged because they ease firing of federal workers.
U.S. District Court Judge Ketanja Brown Jackson rejected the White House's argument in support of the orders' legality, writing in her opinion that they "impair the ability of agency officials to bargain in good faith as Congress has directed."
Most key provisions of the executive orders "conflict with congressional intent in a manner that cannot be sustained," Jackson added. The orders would make it easier to fire workers by cutting back on what the White House called "taxpayer-funded union time" to prepare and pursue grievances. They also limit the time federal employees can spend on work on behalf of labor unions during work hours to 25 percent.
Thirteen unions under the Federal Workers Alliance sued Trump in June, arguing in their legal complaint that federal law requires union rules be negotiated between government agencies and unions and the president lacks the authority to override that.
The White House had argued around that by saying that the executive orders were merely goals.
"We are very pleased that the court agreed that the president far exceeded his authority, and that the a political career federal workforce shall be protected from these illegal, politically motivated executive orders," Sarah Suszczyk, the co-chair of a coalition of government-workers unions, said in a statement.