Stone v. INS, 514 U.S. 386, 6 (1995)

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Cite as: 514 U. S. 386 (1995)

Opinion of the Court

We considered the timeliness of a review petition where there is a motion to reconsider or reopen an agency's order in ICC v. Locomotive Engineers, 482 U. S. 270 (1987). The Interstate Commerce Commission's governing statute provided that, with certain exceptions, judicial review of ICC orders would be governed by the Hobbs Administrative Orders Review Act, 28 U. S. C. 2341 et seq. See Locomotive Engineers, 482 U. S., at 277. We held that "the timely petition for administrative reconsideration stayed the running of the Hobbs Act's limitation period until the petition had been acted upon by the Commission." Id., at 284. Our conclusion, we acknowledged, was in some tension with the language of both the Hobbs Act, which permits an aggrieved party to petition for review "within 60 days after [the] entry" of a final order, 28 U. S. C. 2344, and of 49 U. S. C. 10327(i), "which provides that, '[n]otwithstanding' the provision authorizing the Commission to reopen and reconsider its orders ( 10327(g)), 'an action of the Commission . . . is final on the date on which it is served, and a civil action to enforce, enjoin, suspend, or set aside the action may be filed after that date.' " Locomotive Engineers, supra, at 284. We found the controlling language similar to the corresponding provision of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U. S. C. 704, which provides that "agency action otherwise final is final for the purposes of this section [entitled 'Actions Reviewable'] whether or not there has been presented or determined an application for . . . any form of reconsideratio[n]"— "language [that] has long been construed . . . merely to relieve parties from the requirement of petitioning for re-hearing before seeking judicial review . . . but not to prevent petitions for reconsideration that are actually filed from rendering the orders under reconsideration nonfinal." Locomotive Engineers, supra, at 284-285 (citation omitted).

In support of that longstanding construction of the APA language, we cited dicta in two earlier cases, American Farm Lines v. Black Ball Freight Service, 397 U. S. 532, 541


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