10/1/12 – Cato and ACRU Help
DOJ Receives Extension ~
On September 19, 2012, the Supreme Court granted the Department of Justice a one month extension to October 29, 2012, to file their response to our petition.
It is standard procedure to grant an extension, we did not contest the request.
Two Amicus Briefs Filed ~
It is was a great honor to have two organizations lend their legal expertise to the Medicare Lawsuit as part of its submission to the US Supreme Court.
Ilya Shapiro of Cato Institute filed an amicus curiae brief supporting our position. Shapiro presents the question:
Can the Social Security Administration fundamentally change the relationship between two statutes — the Social Security Act and the Medicare Act — through a “rule” contained in the “Programs Operation Manual System” that was promulgated without following proper administrative procedures or offering reasons for its enactment?
Quoting from the Introduction and Summary of the Argument:
Cato submits this brief to underscore the fact that giving too much deference to administrative agencies threatens the promise not only of good government, but of legitimate government. Courts must limit federal agency actions to those consistent with the only branch of government — Congress — that is duly authorized by the people to pass laws. An agency cannot reach beyond statutory authority to effect a substantial and fiscally irresponsible change of law.
Peter Ferrara of The American Civil Rights Union filed an amicus curiae brief supporting our position. Ferrara wrote:
The Social Security Administration (SSA) issued and enforced a Program Operations System Manual (POMS) to guide its employees in administering the Social Security program. The Manual provides, inter alia, that retirees who fail to enroll in, or who withdraw from, Medicare Part A would lose all of their Social Security benefits as a result. Indeed, they would be required to pay back any Social Security benefits they have already received.
The “Summary of Argument” asked:
Can unelected bureaucrats at the Social Security Administration change the Social Security program contrary to the governing statute, just by issuing an interpretive guide for its employees that says so?
For your reading pleasure:
Thank you all!
Martha de Forest