DC court to hear oral arguments on Nov. 23
Wednesday, 11 November 2009 00:00 By Gemma Q. Casas - Reporter
On Nov. 23, the federal court in Washington, D.C. will hear oral arguments on whether it should grant an emergency injunctive relief to stop the implementation of the federalization law’s interim final regulations for the transitional worker program.
Judge Paul Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia also announced he will separately make a ruling on the CNMI’s motion for a preliminary injunction before the federalization law’s implementation on Nov. 28.
According to Gov. Benigno R. Fitial’s special legal counsel, Howard P. Willens, Friedman told the Department of Justice to file its response to the CNMI’s emergency injunctive relief by Friday, Nov. 13 (Saturday local time).
The CNMI filed its injunctive relief motion on Nov. 2. This motion does not require a full-trial and the judge could decide on the matter immediately, Willens said.
The CNMI contends that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security failed to follow the U.S. Administrative Procedure Act when it adopted the transitional worker program on an interim final basis.
“The commonwealth will likely succeed on the merits of its claim that these regulations were promulgated in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, because it is undisputed that defendants promulgated the regulations without providing notice and an opportunity for comment to the commonwealth and other affected stakeholders as required by the APA, 5 U.S.C. § 553, and because defendants cannot establish ‘good cause’ for this failure, 5 U.S.C. § 553(b)(3)(B),” the CNMI said.
Should the CNMI’s argument prevail, DHS would likely be forced to start over again the process in adopting the transitional worker program regulations.
A 60-day public comment period is commonly set aside before national regulations are adopted.
If the preliminary injunction is granted, the U.S. cannot implement certain provisions under the federalization law on Nov. 28.