Thunder Basin Coal Co. v. Reich, 510 U.S. 200, 17 (1994)

Page:   Index   Previous  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  Next



Opinion of the Court

We conclude that the Mine Act's comprehensive enforcement structure, combined with the legislative history's clear concern with channeling and streamlining the enforcement process, establishes a "fairly discernible" intent to preclude district court review in the present case. See Block v. Community Nutrition Institute, 467 U. S., at 351. Petitioner's claims are "pre-enforcement" only because the company sued before a citation was issued, and its claims turn on a question of statutory interpretation that can be meaningfully reviewed under the Mine Act. Had petitioner persisted in its refusal to post the designation, the Secretary would have been required to issue a citation and commence enforcement proceedings. See 30 U. S. C. 815(a) and 820 (1988 ed. and Supp. IV). Nothing in the language and structure of the Act or its legislative history suggests that Congress intended to allow mine operators to evade the statutory-review process by enjoining the Secretary from commencing enforcement proceedings, as petitioner sought to do here. To uphold the District Court's jurisdiction in these circumstances would be inimical to the structure and the purposes of the Mine Act.


Petitioner finally contends, in the alternative, that due process requires district court review because the absence of pre-enforcement declaratory relief before the Commission will subject petitioner to serious and irreparable harm. We need not consider this claim, however, because neither compliance with, nor continued violation of, the statute will subject petitioner to a serious prehearing deprivation.

The record before us contains no evidence that petitioner will be subject to serious harm if it complies with 30 U. S. C. 813(f) and 30 CFR pt. 40 by posting the designations, and the potential for abuse of the miners' representative position appears limited. As the district manager of the MSHA stated to petitioner, designation as a miners' representative

Page:   Index   Previous  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  Next

Last modified: October 4, 2007