- Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
- Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
- Date Filed: 09-08-2022
- Case #: 21-35553
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Bumatay, C.J. for the Court; Hawkins, C.J.; and Moskowitz, D.J.
- Full Text Opinion
A Social Security Administration (SSA) administrative law judge (ALJ) was appointed by agency staff rather than by the Commissioner as required by the Appointments Clause. The ALJ denied Appellant’s disability claims. Appellant appealed to the District Court which vacated in part. Appellant’s case then went back to the ALJ who was now properly ratified and again ruled against Appellant. The Court found that the second decision could not stand because it was tainted by the first. The Appointment Clause specifies how “Officers of the United States” are to be appointed. To violate the Appointments Clause is to erode political accountability. The ALJ was not properly appointed and therefore relief must be granted. VACATED and REMANDED.