Thunder Basin Coal Co. v. Reich, 510 U.S. 200, 7 (1994)

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Opinion of the Court

petitioner had raised serious questions going to the merits and that it might face irreparable harm.7

The Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reversed, holding that the Mine Act's comprehensive enforcement and administrative-review scheme precluded district court jurisdiction over petitioner's claims. 969 F. 2d 970 (1992). The court stated:

"[T]he gravamen of Thunder Basin's case is a dispute over an anticipated citation and penalty . . . . Operators may not avoid the Mine Act's administrative review process simply by filing in a district court before actually receiving an anticipated citation, order, or assessment of penalty." Id., at 975.

To hold otherwise, the court reasoned, "would permit preemptive strikes that could seriously hamper effective enforcement of the Act, disrupting the review scheme Congress intended." Ibid. The court also concluded that the Mine Act's review procedures adequately protected petitioner's due process rights. Ibid.

We granted certiorari on the jurisdictional question, 507 U. S. 971 (1993), to resolve a claimed conflict with the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. See Southern Ohio Coal Co. v. Donovan, 774 F. 2d 693 (1985), amended, 781 F. 2d 57 (1986).

7 App. to Pet. for Cert. A-24. Before the Court of Appeals ruled on the appeal from the preliminary injunction, the District Court held a trial and entered a permanent injunction in favor of petitioner. See Thunder Basin Coal Co. v. Martin, No. 91-CV-0050-B (D. Wyo., Mar. 13, 1992). The Court of Appeals subsequently denied petitioner's motion to stay appeal of the preliminary injunction and to consolidate the two cases, finding conclusive its holding that the District Court lacked jurisdiction. 969 F. 2d 970, 973, n. 3 (CA10 1992).

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