Thunder Basin Coal Co. v. Reich, 510 U.S. 200, 19 (1994)

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Opinion of the Court

the Secretary's interpretation.22 Although the Act's civil penalties unquestionably may become onerous if petitioner chooses not to comply, the Secretary's penalty assessments become final and payable only after full review by both the Commission and the appropriate court of appeals. 30 U. S. C. 820(i) and 816. A mine operator may request that the Commission expedite its proceedings, 815(d), and temporary relief of certain orders is available from the Commission and the court of appeals. 815(b)(2) and 816(a)(2). Thus, this case does not present the situation confronted in Ex parte Young, 209 U. S. 123, 148 (1908), in which the practical effect of coercive penalties for noncompliance was to foreclose all access to the courts. Nor does this approach a situation in which compliance is sufficiently onerous and coercive penalties sufficiently potent that a constitutionally intolerable choice might be presented.


We conclude that the Mine Act's administrative structure was intended to preclude district court jurisdiction over petitioner's claims and that those claims can be meaningfully reviewed through that structure consistent with due process.23

The judgment of the Court of Appeals is affirmed.

It is so ordered.

22 We note that petitioner expressly disavows any abstract challenge to the Mine Act's statutory review scheme, but limits its due process claim to the present situation where the Act allegedly requires petitioner to relinquish an independent statutory right. See Brief for Petitioner 31, n. 31.

23 Because we have resolved this dispute on statutory preclusion grounds, we do not reach the parties' arguments concerning final agency action, a cause of action, ripeness, and exhaustion.

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