Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs v. Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., 514 U.S. 122, 9 (1995)

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Opinion of the Court

relative to [a] claim for benefits"); Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U. S. C. 2000e-5(f)(1) (authorizing the Attorney General to initiate civil actions against private employers) and 2000e-4(g)(6) (authorizing the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission to "intervene in a civil action brought . . . by an aggrieved party . . ."); Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U. S. C. 1132(a)(2) (granting Secretary power to initiate various civil actions under the Act). It is particularly illuminating to compare the LHWCA with the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA), 29 U. S. C. 651 et seq. Section 660(a) of OSHA is virtually identical to 921(c): It allows "[a]ny person adversely affected or aggrieved" by an order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (a body distinct from the Secretary, as the Benefits Review Board is) to petition for review in the courts of appeals. OSHA, however, further contains a 660(b), which expressly grants such petitioning authority to the Secretary—suggesting, of course, that the Secretary would not be considered "adversely affected or aggrieved" under 660(a), and should not be considered so under 921(c).

All of the foregoing indicates that the phrase "person adversely affected or aggrieved" does not refer to an agency acting in its governmental capacity. Of course the text of a particular statute could make clear that the phrase is being used in a peculiar sense. But the Director points to no such text in the LHWCA, and relies solely upon the mere existence and impairment of her governmental interest. If that alone could ever suffice to contradict the normal meaning of the phrase (which is doubtful), it would have to be an interest of an extraordinary nature, extraordinarily impaired. As we proceed to discuss, that is not present here.


The LHWCA assigns four broad areas of responsibility to the Director: (1) supervising, administering, and making

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