WASHINGTON, D.C.-In July, a federal appeals court upheld President Bush's executive order banning the practice of favoring union bids in the awarding of federal contracts.

By concluding that the president acted within his constitutional authority in issuing the order, the three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals from the District of Columbia greatly increased the chances of success for federal privatization efforts.

By requiring that federal contracts go to bidders based on nothing but the merits of their bids, the president accomplished two major goals: 1) Assured that jobs contracted out by the federal government to private entities will garner the most value for the least tax money; and 2) provided bidders on federal contracts who use union labor with an economic incentive to come up with bids that are as competitive as those from non-union bidders.

As might be expected, the president of the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, Edward C. Sullivan, disagreed with the decision, calling it a major setback for unionized employees. Other groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Right to Work Foundation, hailed the decision as right under the circumstances.

"President Bush's common sense executive order helps ensure open competition in the U.S. construction industry," Ken Adams, chairman of the American Builders' Association, told Fox News.