President Biden has quietly rolled back another key Trump-era order.
Background: In 2018, President Trump signed a “transparency and accountability” order creating a public litigation website so people can track details pertaining to lawsuits from outside interest groups that Republicans argue cost taxpayers unwieldy sums.
Trump’s DOI order was designed to limit so-called “sue and settle” cases, in which a group legally challenges a federal department it knows to agree on a specific issue, followed by the department voluntarily ending a dispute and enacting policy that perhaps would not pass through legislative or other means. (per The Daily Caller)
Details: The DOI entered into 460 settlement agreements and consent decrees between January 2012 and mid-January 2017, costing taxpayers over $4.4 billion, according to the Trump administration’s 2018 order.
What Happened: On Friday, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland revoked Trump’s 2018 order.
What Biden Says: “Taken together, these limitations are burdensome, duplicative, and hinder the effective resolution of complex litigation matters,” the Biden administration said in its order revocation. “Transparency and accountability are paramount values for the Department.”
Why It Matters: Karen Budd-Falen, a Trump-era official who served as deputy solicitor for the DOI’s parks and wildlife division says that Haaland’s revocation “is a problem” because the public is not able to track “rulemaking” in real time.
“I think the public ought to know, right?” said Budd-Falen, who added that “digging” for information on litigation now could be “very expensive and difficult” for those interested.