Trump signs executive order to create 'Bill of Rights' for businesses during pandemic

The order also asks agencies to speed up the rule-making, which could shave off years of regulatory deliberations

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President Trump on May 17, 2020
President Trump on May 17, 2020
(Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
Updated: May 19, 2020 - 10:45pm

As the country grapples with record unemployment in the wake of the coronavirus shutdown, President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday directing federal agencies to use emergency authorities to quickly identify regulations that can be rescinded or temporarily waived to spur job growth. 

The executive order includes a “Regulatory Bill of Rights," putting the onus on rule-makers to be circumscribed and transparent in how they go about enforcing violations. 

Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen released Thursday shows 42% of American voters back canceling licenses or jailing business owners violating coronavirus orders.

"The fact that only 42% are willing to back government officials on the enforcement of these laws is pretty stunning," Rasmussen said. "When 42% side with the rule breakers and another 16% aren’t sure, it is a very strong indication that voters believe the rules themselves are the real problem. Putting it in the context of America’s founding ideals, this finding suggests that the lockdown orders do not have the consent of the governed."

The executive order also asks agencies to accelerate the rule-making process, which in some instances could shave years off regulatory deliberations.

The executive order's "Fairness in Administrative Enforcement and Adjudication," states that "The heads of all agencies shall consider the principles of fairness in administrative enforcement and adjudication listed below, and revise their procedures and practices in light of them, consistent with applicable law and as they deem appropriate in the context of particular statutory and regulatory programs and the policy considerations identified in section 1 of this order."

The “Regulatory Bill of Rights” contained in the executive order are listed below:

     (a)  The Government should bear the burden of proving an alleged violation of law; the subject of enforcement should not bear the burden of proving compliance.

     (b)  Administrative enforcement should be prompt and fair.

     (c)  Administrative adjudicators should be independent of enforcement staff.

     (d)  Consistent with any executive branch confidentiality interests, the Government should provide favorable relevant evidence in possession of the agency to the subject of an administrative enforcement action.

     (e)  All rules of evidence and procedure should be public, clear, and effective.

     (f)  Penalties should be proportionate, transparent, and imposed in adherence to consistent standards and only as authorized by law.

     (g)  Administrative enforcement should be free of improper Government coercion.

     (h)  Liability should be imposed only for violations of statutes or duly issued regulations, after notice and an opportunity to respond.

     (i)  Administrative enforcement should be free of unfair surprise.

     (j)  Agencies must be accountable for their administrative enforcement decisions.

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