Supreme Court Rules on Appropriate Venue for Review of Merit System Protection Board Decisions

The Supreme Court confirmed that under the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, final rulings of the MSPB in specified cases are to be reviewed by the federal district courts. This EIA concludes that the complicated facts of the case, coupled with the convoluted arguments presented by the federal government resulted in a Supreme Court opinion that should never have been necessary.

Excerpt:

In Kloeckner v. Solis [an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers], the Supreme Court confirmed that under the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 ("CSRA"), final rulings of the Merit System Protection Board ("MSPB") in specified cases are to be reviewed by the federal district courts-in contrast to the review by the Federal Circuit applicable to most MSPB final rulings. In this Emerging Issues Analysis, N. Peter Lareau, author of "NLRA: Law and Practice" and numerous other books and articles in the field of labor law, concludes that the complicated facts of the case, coupled with the convoluted arguments presented by the federal government resulted in a Supreme Court opinion that should never have been necessary.

Statutory Background

Section 7703(b)(1) of the CSRA, which governs judicial review of the rulings of the Merit System Protections Board ("MSPB"), provides, in pertinent part:

Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a petition to review a final order or final decision of the [Merit Systems Protection] Board shall be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

The referenced "paragraph (2)" provides that "[c]ases of discrimination subject to the provisions of section 7702 of this title" (cases alleging discrimination under any of the four anti-discrimination statutes enumerated in that section) are to be reviewed in accordance with the enforcement provisions of the enumerated statutes. In each case, the statute authorizes that an action be filed in federal district court. [footnotes omitted]

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