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HomeAssociationsAGC: Federal judge issues nationwide injunction against DoL's Davis-Bacon coverage rule

AGC: Federal judge issues nationwide injunction against DoL’s Davis-Bacon coverage rule

Washington Construction News

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) says it is celebrating a significant legal victory in its ongoing efforts to protect members from overreaching federal regulations. On June 24, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Lubbock granted AGC’s motion for a nationwide preliminary injunction, temporarily blocking the AGC-challenged provisions to a rule issued by the U.S. Department of Labor expanding coverage of the Davis-Bacon Act (DBA).

AGC says in a statement that it originally filed a narrowly tailored lawsuit in federal court against the department, challenging the agency’s unlawful expansion of coverage to truck drivers and material suppliers owned and operated by general contractors or subcontractors. The association also challenged the operation of law provisions making DBA requirements applicable to construction contracts even when the prime contract makes no reference to the DBA. All of these are provisions of the massive Department Davis-Bacon final rule that took effect on new contracts on or after Oct. 23, 2023.

“Defendants engaged in egregious violations of Article II, section 3 of the Constitution, because rather than taking care to faithfully execute the DBA, Defendants instead usurped Congress’ law-making power and attempted substantive amendments to the DBA,” the court said in its ruling

“Presidents and their agencies act ultra vires and do violence to the Constitution when they attempt to unilaterally amend Acts of Congress to suit their policy choices. Under Article I, section 1 of the Constitution, Presidents and their agencies cannot amend by executive fiat acts of Congress. Doing so violates the Constitution, and this preliminary injunction shall be issued to prevent this blatantly unlawful action.”

“Our concern remains that the Department is expanding the scope of the rule well beyond what Congress ever intended,” said Jeffrey Shoaf, the association’s chief executive officer. “This injunction restores the original intention of the Davis-Bacon Act.”

AGC of America was joined by co-plaintiffs Associated General Contractors of Texas, and J. Lee Milligan, Inc. and the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce and worked with lead counsel Robert Roginson of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart P.C., and local counsel for plaintiffs, Fernando M. Bustos of Bustos Law Firm

Mark Buckshon
Mark Buckshonhttps://washingtonconstructionnews.com
Mark Buckshon is the publisher and interim editor of Washington Construction News. He is also president of the Construction News and Report Group of Companies. He combines a journalism and business background, and has published construction trade publications for more than 30 years, after an earlier career in journalism, which culminated when he lived through the transition from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe in 1978-80 as a sub-editor for the Bulawayo Chronicle and a correspondent for a Canadian news service.

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