Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs v. Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., 514 U.S. 122, 7 (1995)

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128

DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION PROGRAMS v. NEWPORT NEWS SHIPBUILDING & DRY DOCK CO.

Opinion of the Court

There are cases in which an agency has been held to be adversely affected or aggrieved in what might be called its nongovernmental capacity—that is, in its capacity as a member of the market group that the statute was meant to protect. For example, in United States v. ICC, 337 U. S. 426 (1949), we held that the United States had standing to sue the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) in federal court to overturn a Commission order that denied the Government recovery of damages for an allegedly unlawful railroad rate. The Government, we said, "is not less entitled than any other shipper to invoke administrative and judicial protection." Id., at 430.3 But the status of the Government as a statutory beneficiary or market participant must be sharply distinguished from the status of the Government as regulator or administrator.

The latter status would be at issue if—to use an example that continues the ICC analogy—the Environmental Protec-regulations assert, see 20 CFR 802.410 (1994)), in initiating an appeal she would end up on both sides of the case. See Brief for National Association of Waterfront Employers et al. as Amici Curiae 17, n. 14. Our opinion today intimates no view on the party-respondent question.

3 United States v. ICC accorded the United States standing despite the facts that (1) the Interstate Commerce Act contained no specific judicial review provision, and (2) the APA's general judicial review provision ("person adversely affected or aggrieved") excludes agencies from the definition of "person." See infra, at 129. It would thus appear that an agency suing in what might be termed a nongovernmental capacity escapes that definitional limitation. The LHWCA likewise contains a definition of "person" that does not specifically include agencies. 33 U. S. C. 902(1). We chose not to rely upon that provision in this opinion because it seemed more likely to sweep in the question of the Director's authority to appeal Board rulings that are adverse to the 944 special fund, which deserves separate attention. It is possible that the Director's status as manager of the privately financed fund removes her from the "person" limitation, just as it may remove her from the more general limitation that agencies qua agencies are not "adversely affected or aggrieved." We leave those issues to be resolved in a case where the Director's relationship to the fund is immediately before us.

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