Judge denies requests for pay from workers affected by shutdown

A federal judge on Tuesday denied a request from a federal employees union to require the government to pay ...

Posted: Jan 15, 2019 9:47 PM
Updated: Jan 15, 2019 9:47 PM

A federal judge on Tuesday denied a request from a federal employees union to require the government to pay air traffic controllers who are currently working without pay during the partial government shutdown.

The temporary restraining order was requested by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

Law and legal system

Restraining orders

Trial and procedure

Civil servants

Federal employees

Labor and employment

Workers and professionals

District Judge Richard Leon also denied two requests for temporary restraining orders regarding whether federal employees who are deemed essential and required to work without pay during the shutdown should be forced to work.

  • The National Treasury Employees Union argued that requiring essential employees to work without pay violates the Antideficiency Act, part of the US Code. The union requested a temporary restraining order that would effectively allow essential employees not to be forced to work without pay during the shutdown.

  • The second temporary restraining order, requested by individual federal workers in a separate suit, asked that federal employees deemed essential be given the choice of whether to show up to work, so they could take extra work to cover expenses if needed.

But Leon argued that Congress is the only branch of government that has the constitutional power to appropriate funds, and that the judiciary "is not and cannot be another source of leverage."

"We are an independent and coequal branch of government even if we can't keep our lights on," Leon said in court.

Leon denied all three temporary restraining orders but set a schedule for hearings regarding preliminary injunctions requested by all three suits, so while attorneys for federal employees did not win on Tuesday, they will have another chance to argue their cases before the judge. Oral arguments are scheduled for the end of the month.

The US District Court for the District of Columbia, however, is a federal court funded by the government. Federal court offices operating with fees and other reserve funds are set to run out of money on Friday because of the shutdown, according to National Law Journal.

For a judge to grant a temporary restraining order, the plaintiffs must show they are likely to suffer irreparable harm if it is not granted.

While Leon acknowledged that he did not "have any doubt that there is hardship being felt," he also said allowing employees deemed essential by the executive branch not to come to work would "at best create chaos and confusion" and at worst be "catastrophic."

This story has been updated.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 13260

Reported Deaths: 625
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds89324
Lauderdale67855
Madison65421
Scott58910
Neshoba51231
Forrest48034
Jones46713
DeSoto4616
Leake38410
Holmes36523
Rankin3496
Jackson29613
Copiah2784
Attala27014
Lincoln24320
Monroe24224
Leflore24025
Harrison2346
Newton2243
Lamar2194
Yazoo2152
Pearl River20327
Pike19611
Adams18615
Lowndes1607
Noxubee1586
Washington1535
Warren1506
Bolivar14010
Jasper1393
Oktibbeha13410
Smith13110
Covington1271
Chickasaw12612
Clarke12616
Kemper12510
Lafayette1233
Carroll11310
Wayne1090
Marion1088
Lee1045
Clay993
Winston981
Coahoma983
Lawrence901
Hancock8711
Simpson850
Itawamba857
Yalobusha824
Wilkinson829
Montgomery781
Sunflower773
Grenada752
Jefferson Davis712
Union715
Tippah7011
Marshall693
Panola622
Calhoun604
Tate591
Claiborne581
Humphreys537
Amite521
Walthall510
Tunica483
Perry462
Jefferson400
Prentiss383
Stone300
Choctaw292
Webster271
Pontotoc263
Franklin252
Tishomingo250
Quitman240
Tallahatchie241
George191
Alcorn151
Benton140
Greene71
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 14478

Reported Deaths: 551
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile1996109
Jefferson161488
Montgomery118630
Marshall6499
Tuscaloosa50512
Lee49832
Franklin4476
Shelby43319
Tallapoosa39662
Butler34411
Chambers33623
Madison2964
Baldwin2749
Elmore2637
Etowah23610
DeKalb2213
Coffee2001
Walker1981
Dallas1973
Sumter1916
Lowndes18610
Houston1644
Morgan1621
Autauga1593
Calhoun1413
Choctaw1414
Pike1360
Colbert1362
Marengo1336
Hale1293
Russell1280
Lauderdale1282
Randolph1257
Wilcox1187
Marion11310
Bullock1111
Barbour1101
Clarke1022
St. Clair1021
Pickens934
Talladega912
Greene894
Chilton871
Dale830
Cullman760
Limestone740
Jackson692
Covington651
Washington645
Winston620
Macon602
Bibb591
Crenshaw582
Henry562
Blount491
Escambia433
Lawrence420
Coosa331
Geneva330
Cherokee332
Perry310
Monroe282
Clay272
Conecuh251
Lamar200
Cleburne131
Fayette110
Unassigned00
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