OCTOBER TERM, 1994
certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the fourth circuit
No. 93-1783. Argued January 9, 1995—Decided March 21, 1995
The Director of the Labor Department's Office of Workers' Compensation
Programs petitioned the Court of Appeals for review of a Benefits Review Board decision that, inter alia, denied Jackie Harcum full-disability compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA). Harcum did not seek review and, while not opposing the Director's pursuit of the action, expressly declined to intervene on his own behalf in response to an inquiry by the court. Acting sua sponte, the court concluded that the Director lacked standing to appeal the benefits denial because she was not "adversely affected or aggrieved" thereby within the meaning of § 21(c) of the Act, 33 U. S. C. § 921(c).
Held: The Director is not "adversely affected or aggrieved" under
§ 921(c). Pp. 125-136. (a) Section 921(c) does not apply to an agency acting as a regulator or administrator under the statute. This is strongly suggested by the fact that, despite long use of the phrase "adversely affected or aggrieved" as a term of art to designate those who have standing to appeal a federal agency decision, no case has held that an agency, without benefit of specific authorization to appeal, falls within that designation; by the fact that the United States Code's general judicial review provision, 5 U. S. C. § 702, which employs the phrase "adversely affected or aggrieved," specifically excludes agencies from the category of persons covered, § 551(2); and by the clear evidence in the Code that when an agency in its governmental capacity is meant to have standing, Congress says so, see, e. g., 29 U. S. C. §§ 660(a) and (b). While the text of a particular statute could make clear that "adversely affected or aggrieved" is being used in a peculiar sense, the Director points to no such text in the LHWCA. Pp. 125-130. (b) Neither of the categories of interest asserted by the Director demonstrates that "adversely affected or aggrieved" in this statute must have an extraordinary meaning. The Director's interest in ensuring adequate payments to claimants is insufficient. Agencies do not automatically have standing to sue for actions that frustrate the purposesPage: Index 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Next
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