Califano v. Sanders, No. 75-1443

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBRENNAN
Citation51 L.Ed.2d 192,97 S.Ct. 980,430 U.S. 99
Docket NumberNo. 75-1443
Decision Date23 February 1977
PartiesJoseph A. CALIFANO, Jr., Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, Petitioner, v. Mister SANDERS

430 U.S. 99
97 S.Ct. 980
51 L.Ed.2d 192
Joseph A. CALIFANO, Jr., Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, Petitioner,

v.

Mister SANDERS.

No. 75-1443.
Argued Jan. 11, 12, 1977.
Decided Feb. 23, 1977.
Syllabus

1. Section 10 of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), providing generally for judicial review of actions of federal administrative agencies by persons aggrieved by such actions, does not afford an implied grant to district courts of subject-matter jurisdiction to review a decision of the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare not to reopen a previously adjudicated claim for social security benefits. An interpretation in favor of jurisdiction is suggested by neither the text nor history of the APA, and would effectively override Congress' recent decision to expand jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331(a) by eliminating the amount-in-controversy requirement as a prerequisite to maintaining federal-question actions against federal agencies or officers or employees thereof, while retaining § 205(h) of the Social Security Act as a limitation of such jurisdiction. Pp. 104-107.

2. Nor does § 205(g) of the Social Security Act, which provides that any individual after any "final decision of the Secretary made after a hearing" to which he was a party, irrespective of the amount in controversy, may obtain a review of such decision by civil action commenced within 60 days, authorize judicial review of the Secretary's decision, absent a constitutional challenge. A petition to reopen a prior final decision may be denied without a § 205(b) hearing, whereas judicial review under § 205(g) is limited to a final decision "made after a hearing"; moreover, to allow judicial review would frustrate the congressional purpose, evidenced in § 205(g), to impose a 60-day limitation upon review of the Secretary's final decision. Pp. 107-109.

522 F.2d 1167, reversed.

Maurice Rosenberg, New York City, for petitioner.

Page 100

William A. Kowalski, Scherville, Ind., for respondent.

Mr. Justice BRENNAN delivered the opinion of the Court.

The questions for decision are (1) whether § 10 of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 701-706,1 is an

Page 101

independent grant to district courts of subject-matter jurisdiction to review a decision of the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare not to reopen a previously adjudicated claim for social security benefits and (2), if not, whether § 205(g) of the Social Security Act 2 authorizes judicial review of the Secretary's decision.

I

Title II of the Social Security Act provides disability benefits for a claimant who demonstrates that he suffers a physical or mental disability within the meaning of the Act and that the disability arose prior to the expiration of his insured status. 42 U.S.C. §§ 416(i), 423. The administrative process is begun when he files a claim with the Social Security Administration. 20 CFR §§ 404.905-404.907 (1976). If the claim is administratively denied, regulations permit administrative reconsideration within a six-month period. §§ 404.909-404.915. Should a request for reconsideration prove unsuccessful, the claimant may, within 60 days, ask for an evidentiary hearing before an administrative law judge, 42 U.S.C. § 405(b) (1970 ed., Supp. V), and a discretionary appeal from an adverse determination of the law judge lies to the Appeals Council. 20 CFR §§ 404.945-404.947

Page 102

(1976). Finally § 205(g) of the Act, 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), authorizes federal judicial review of "any final decision of the Secretary made after a hearing to which (the claimant) was a party . . . ."

The Act and regulations thus create an orderly administrative mechanism, with district court review of the final decision of the Secretary, to assist in the original processing of the more than 7,600,000 claims filed annually with the Administration. See Social Security Administration, The Year in Review The Administration of Social Security Programs 1975, p. 54 (1976). By regulation, however, the administrative scheme provides for additional consideration of the claim. This is in the form of regulations for reopening of the agency determination within specified time limits after the date of initial determination 12 months as a matter of right and four years "upon a finding of good cause," which exists if new material evidence is provided or specific errors are discovered. 20 CFR §§ 404.957(a), (b), 404.958 (1976). Moreover, the regulations permit reopening "(a)t any time" for the purpose of correcting clerical errors or errors on the face of relevant evidence. § 404.957(c)(8).

On January 30, 1964, respondent filed his initial claim with the agency for disability payments and disability insurance benefits, alleging inability to work because of epilepsy and blackout spells. The claim proceeded through the several steps of the administrative procedures. An Administrative Law Judge found that respondent was ineligible for benefits on the ground that he had not demonstrated a relevant disability of sufficient severity. The Appeals Council, in June 1966, sustained this decision, and respondent did not pursue judicial review of the Secretary's final decision under § 205(g).

Almost seven years later, on March 5, 1973, respondent filed a second claim alleging the same bases for eligibility. His claim was again processed through administrative channels under the Secretary's regulations. The Administrative Law

Page 103

Judge viewed the new application as barred by res judicata, see 20 CFR § 404.937 (1976), but also treated the application as requiring the determination "whether the claimant is entitled to have his prior application reopened . . . ." App. 33-34. Concluding that respondent's evidence was "merely rep(e)titio(u)s and cumulative," id., at 35, and finding no errors on the face of the evidence, ibid., the Administrative Law Judge denied reopening and dismissed the claim.

Respondent thereupon filed this action in the District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, challenging the Secretary's decision not to reopen, and resting jurisdiction on § 205(g), 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). The District Court dismissed the complaint on the ground stated in its unpublished memorandum that "this court is without jurisdiction to consider the subject matter of this suit." Pet. for Cert. 13a-14a. The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed. Sanders v. Weinberger, 522 F.2d 1167 (1975). The Court of Appeals agreed that jurisdiction to review a refusal to reopen a claim proceeding on the ground of abuse of discretion was not authorized by the Social Security Act. Id., at 1169. The court held, however, that § 205(h) 3 did not limit judicial review to those methods "expressly authorize(d)" by the Social Security Act itself. Therefore, the Court of Appeals con-

Page 104

cluded that § 10 of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), which "contains an independent grant of subject-matter jurisdiction, without regard to the amount in controversy", afforded the District Court jurisdiction of respondent's complaint. 522 F.2d, at 1169. We granted certiorari, sub nom. Mathews v. Sanders, 426 U.S. 905, 96 S.Ct. 2225, 48 L.Ed.2d 829 (1976). We reverse.

II
A.

(1, 2) The Court of Appeals acknowledged that its construction of § 10 of the APA as an independent grant of subject-matter jurisdiction is contrary to the conclusion reached by several other Courts of Appeals. 522 F.2d, at 1169. This conflict is understandable. None of the codified statutory sections that constitute § 10 is phrased like the usual grant of jurisdiction to proceed in the federal courts. On the other hand, the statute undoubtedly evinces Congress' intention and understanding that judicial review should be widely available to challenge the actions of federal administrative officials. Consequently, courts 4 and commentators 5 have sharply divided

Page 105

over whether the statute should be read to provide a distinct basis of jurisdiction for the review of agency actions. Three decisions of this Court arguably have assumed, with little discussion, that the APA is an independent grant of subject-matter jurisdiction. See Citizens to Preserve Overton Park v. Volpe, 401 U.S. 402, 410, 91 S.Ct. 814, 820, 28 L.Ed.2d 136 (1971); Abbott Laboratories v. Gardner, 387 U.S. 136, 141, 87 S.Ct. 1507, 1511, 18 L.Ed.2d 681 (1967); Rusk v. Cort, 369 U.S. 367, 372, 82 S.Ct. 787, 790, 7 L.Ed.2d 809 (1962). However, an Act of Congress enacted since our grant of certiorari in this case now persuades us that the better view is that the APA is not to be interpreted as an implied grant of subject-matter jurisdiction to review agency actions.

On October 21, 1976, Congress enacted Pub.L. 94-574, 90 Stat. 2721, which amends 28 U.S.C. § 1331(a) to eliminate the requirement of a specified amount in controversy as a prerequisite to the maintenance of "any (§ 1331) action brought against the United States, any agency thereof, or any officer or employee thereof in his official capacity." The obvious effect of this modification, subject only to preclusion-of-review statutes created or retained by Congress, is to confer jurisdiction on federal courts to review agency action, regardless of whether the APA of its own force may serve as a jurisdictional predicate. We conclude that this amendment now largely undercuts the rationale for interpreting the APA as an independent jurisdictional provision.

As noted previously, the actual text of § 10 of the APA nowhere contains an explicit grant of jurisdiction to challenge

Page 106

agency action in the federal courts.6 Furthermore, even the advocates of jurisdiction under the APA acknowledge that there is no basis for concluding that Congress, in enacting § 10 of the APA, actually conceived of the Act in jurisdictional terms. See, e. g., Byse & Fiocca, supra, n. 5, at 328. Thus, the argument in favor of APA jurisdiction rests exclusively on the broad policy consideration...

To continue reading

Request your trial
4165 practice notes
  • Nguyen v. Fasano, No. 99-CV-1885-K(CGA).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • February 1, 2000
    ...step of foreclosing jurisdiction unless Congress' intent to do so is manifested by `clear and convincing' evidence." Califano v. Sanders, 430 U.S. 99, 109, 97 S.Ct. 980, 51 L.Ed.2d 192 (1977) (quoting in part Weinberger v. Salfi, 422 U.S. 749, 762, 95 S.Ct. 2457, 45 L.Ed.2d 522 (1975)). Ins......
  • Johnson v. Saul, Case No.: 20-CV-747 JLS (AHG)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • January 25, 2021
    ...not afford an implied grant of subject-matter jurisdiction permitting federal judicial review of agency action." See Califano v. Sanders, 430 U.S. 99, 107 (1977). Accordingly, the APA alone does not suffice to confer subject-matter jurisdiction over the Amended Writs. See, e.g., Kim Phuong ......
  • Alliance v. United States Forest Serv., No. CV 05-107-M-DWM
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Montana)
    • May 4, 2010
    ...Volpe, 401 U.S. 402, 91 S.Ct. 814, 28 L.Ed.2d 136 (1971) (quoting 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A), overruled on other grounds by Califano v. Sanders, 430 U.S. 99, 97 S.Ct. 980, 51 L.Ed.2d 192 (1977)). Agency action can be set aside “if the agency has relied on factors which Congress has not intended i......
  • COM. OF VA. EX REL. DMAS v. Bowen, Civ. A. No. 85-0933-R and 84-1171-R.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Virginia)
    • February 3, 1988
    ...or impliedly forbids the relief which is sought. The APA is not itself an independent source of jurisdiction. See Califano v. Sanders, 430 U.S. 99, 97 S.Ct. 980, 51 L.Ed.2d 192 Other than the district court, the only possible forum for disallowance disputes is the United States Claims Court......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
4181 cases
  • Nguyen v. Fasano, No. 99-CV-1885-K(CGA).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • February 1, 2000
    ...step of foreclosing jurisdiction unless Congress' intent to do so is manifested by `clear and convincing' evidence." Califano v. Sanders, 430 U.S. 99, 109, 97 S.Ct. 980, 51 L.Ed.2d 192 (1977) (quoting in part Weinberger v. Salfi, 422 U.S. 749, 762, 95 S.Ct. 2457, 45 L.Ed.2d 522 (1975)). Ins......
  • Johnson v. Saul, Case No.: 20-CV-747 JLS (AHG)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • January 25, 2021
    ...not afford an implied grant of subject-matter jurisdiction permitting federal judicial review of agency action." See Califano v. Sanders, 430 U.S. 99, 107 (1977). Accordingly, the APA alone does not suffice to confer subject-matter jurisdiction over the Amended Writs. See, e.g., Kim Phuong ......
  • Alliance v. United States Forest Serv., No. CV 05-107-M-DWM
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Montana)
    • May 4, 2010
    ...Volpe, 401 U.S. 402, 91 S.Ct. 814, 28 L.Ed.2d 136 (1971) (quoting 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A), overruled on other grounds by Califano v. Sanders, 430 U.S. 99, 97 S.Ct. 980, 51 L.Ed.2d 192 (1977)). Agency action can be set aside “if the agency has relied on factors which Congress has not intended i......
  • COM. OF VA. EX REL. DMAS v. Bowen, Civ. A. No. 85-0933-R and 84-1171-R.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Virginia)
    • February 3, 1988
    ...or impliedly forbids the relief which is sought. The APA is not itself an independent source of jurisdiction. See Califano v. Sanders, 430 U.S. 99, 97 S.Ct. 980, 51 L.Ed.2d 192 Other than the district court, the only possible forum for disallowance disputes is the United States Claims Court......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
3 books & journal articles
  • Table of authorities
    • United States
    • Introduction to environmental law: cases and materials on water pollution control - 2d Edition
    • July 23, 2017
    ...(E.D. Ark. 1982), af ’d, 755 F.2d 645, 15 ELR 20316 (8th Cir. 1985) ............................................. 789 Califano v. Sanders, 430 U.S. 99 (1977) .................................................................... 131 Canada Community Improvement Soc’y v. City of Michigan City,......
  • Introduction to the CWA and the administrative process
    • United States
    • Introduction to environmental law: cases and materials on water pollution control - 2d Edition
    • July 23, 2017
    ...hear that cause of action. Since the statute does not mention a court, it does not confer jurisdiction on a court. Califano v. Sanders , 430 U.S. 99 (1977). he Califano Court noted that jurisdiction for judicial review was generally available, without limitation for the amount in controvers......
  • Administering the National Environmental Policy Act
    • United States
    • Environmental Law Reporter Nbr. 45-4, April 2015
    • April 1, 2015
    ...(1985); Block v. Community Nutrition Inst., 467 U.S. 340 (1984); FTC v. Standard Oil of Cal., 449 U.S. 232 (1980); Califano v. Sanders, 430 U.S. 99 (1977); FCC v. Pottsville Broad. Co., 309 U.S. 134 (1940); United States v. Los Angeles & S.L.R. Co., 373 U.S. 299, 308-13 (1927). On the gradu......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT