Gary Palmer introduces bill to stop ‘judge shopping’ suits against Presidential orders

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Alabama 6th District U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer is hoping to deal blow to litigants endeavoring to derail President Donald Trump‘s Executive orders by “judge shopping” — that is intentionally filing suit against an order in a particular court jurisdiction in hopes of having a more favorable judge hear the case.

Palmer introduced H.R. 2660, the Assigning Proper Placement of Executive Action Lawsuits (APPEAL) Act, on Monday, which says lawsuits over any challenge to an Executive order, action, or memorandum must be litigated exclusively federal courts in the District of Columbia rather than anywhere else.

“Litigants challenging a President’s Executive orders should not be able to forum shop for a court they believe will provide the most favorable judgment,” said Palmer. “We must ensure our judicial branch operates equally and fairly for all presidents, eliminating chaos and bias. The President of the United States, regardless of party or beliefs, has the authority to issue Executive orders, actions and memorandums. The authority does not belong to activist judges bending the law as they see fit.”

Trump himself has criticized the recent “judge shopping” of his Executive orders.

“Out of our very big country, with many choices, does everyone notice that both the “ban” case and now the “sanctuary” case is brought in the Ninth Circuit, which has a terrible record of being overturned (close to 80%). They used to call this ‘judge shopping!’ Messy system.” Trump tweeted.

Several instances where suits must originate in D.C. already exist. For example, suits against the federal government over a contract claim or its exercise of eminent domain must be filed in D.C.’s Court of Federal Claims.

Similarly, prior to the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder, Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act required all lawsuits to be filed in the D.C. Also, when parties dispute federal regulations, they often file suit in the D.C., where the federal agency is located.