In a case that promises to be some boring technicality bullshit, Willie Carr was trying to get some Social Security scratch for a disability he has. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) told Willie to eat a bag of dicks. So Carr told them to fuck off, and went to a federal district court to see if they’d help.
While waiting for the federal district court to hear his case, SCOTUS decided in Lucia v. SEC that ALJs must be appointed by the president, a court, or the head of their agency, which they weren’t.
So, the Social Security Admin was like, “Fuck, we gotta appoint some new ALJs.” So that they did.
After SSA appointed new ALJs, Carr was like, “Wait a minute. Those assholes that told me to eat a bag of dicks were not even supposed to be there. So their decision is bullshit, and I want to talk about my claim again.”
The district court agreed, and told the SSA to try again. However, the SSA was like, “Carr should have brought this shit up during his appellate process.”
But Carr was like, “Fuck you, Lucia hadn’t even been decided yet. How the fuck was I supposed to know to raise that objection then, when the precedent hadn’t even been set yet? Are you serious with this shit?”
But the SSA went to the US Court of Appeals Tenth Circuit, and got them to agree with him, that Carr should have raised that issue earlier. So now that two courts disagreed as usual, here we are at SCOTUS to sort this shit out.
In a unanimous decision, SCOTUS decided Carr had a pretty valid fucking point. A person can challenge the constitutionality of the ALJ during appeal, regardless of whether they brought it up during adjudication.
Basically, on appeal, normally you’re supposed to address shit that was part of the initial review, not bring up new shit, or at least that’s what Saul wanted.
But SCOTUS was basically saying, that the administrative hearings weren’t adversarial, they were inquisitive in nature, and as such, Carr wouldn’t have any reason to make it adversarial by bringing up whether or not he thinks these assholes are unconstitutional. At that point, they’re just talkin’, bro.
Anyway, winner winner chicken dinner for Saul. Good on ya, man.
Read about the case and hear oral arguments on Oyez.com
You can also read about the case at SCOTUS Blog and National Law Review if you’re really interested.