778 F.2d 62 (1st Cir. 1985), 85-1375, Cruz v. Brock

Docket Nº:85-1375.
Citation:778 F.2d 62
Party Name:The Honorable Alejandro CRUZ, Jr., et al., Petitioners, v. Honorable William E. BROCK, Secretary of Labor of the United States, Respondent.
Case Date:December 02, 1985
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
 
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Page 62

778 F.2d 62 (1st Cir. 1985)

The Honorable Alejandro CRUZ, Jr., et al., Petitioners,

v.

Honorable William E. BROCK, Secretary of Labor of the United

States, Respondent.

No. 85-1375.

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

December 2, 1985

Argued Oct. 8, 1985.

Page 63

Stephen Sale with whom Fehrenbacher, Sale, Fudesco & Quinn, P.C., Washington, D.C., Thomas F. Holt, Jr., and DiCara, Selig, Sawyer & Holt, Boston, Mass., were on brief for petitioners.

William S. Rhyne, Asst. Counsel for Litigation, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Office of the Sol., with whom Francis X. Lilly, Sol. of Labor, William H. DuRoss, III, Associate Sol. for Employment and Training, and Harry L. Sheinfeld, Counsel for Litigation, Washington, D.C., were on brief for respondent.

Before COFFIN and BREYER, Circuit Judges, and TIMBERS, [*] Senior Circuit Judge.

BREYER, Circuit Judge.

Petitioners, the mayors of three municipalities in Puerto Rico, ask us to set aside a Federal Department of Labor determination that their towns are not big enough to qualify automatically as "Service Delivery Areas" (SDA) under the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA). 29 U.S.C. Sec. 1511 (1982). All parties agree that Puerto Rico's governor must certify the three-town "consortium" as an SDA if it contains an "aggregate population of 200,000 or more." 29 U.S.C. Sec. 1511(a)(4)(A)(ii). But, the municipalities and the governor disagree about whether by February 28, 1985 (the biennial SDA designation due date) the municipalities had hit the 200,000 mark. The municipalities carried their argument to the Secretary of Labor (29 U.S.C. Sec. 1511(a)(4)(C) ) who agreed with the governor that the population of the three towns was too small. The towns now appeal the Labor Department's decision to us.

At the outset the Secretary denies our power to review his decision. He says that Congress "committed" factual population questions to his "agency's discretion" under 29 U.S.C. Sec. 1572(a), thereby insulating them from ordinary judicial review. We doubt his argument--at least if he means we lack the power to review for abuses of discretion. See 5 K. Davis, Administrative Law Treatise Sec. 28.7 (1984); California Human Development Corp. v. Brock, 762 F.2d 1044 (D.C.Cir.1985). But, we need not decide the matter definitively, for, in any event, the decision before us is lawful. It satisfies all relevant standards...

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