Supreme Court To Define Jurisdiction Under The Civil Service Reform Act

By Tim Young

The Supreme Court heard arguments in the Elgin V. Department of Treasury case today to determine whether The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 prevented federal employees who were terminated from obtaining federal district court review of the statute that caused their termination.

Michael Elgin, as well as three other federal employees, were terminated by their respective federal agencies after it was discovered that they had never registered with the selective service.  Elgin and two of the other petitioners stated that their failure to register was not knowing and willful because they had only become aware of the requirement after the age of 26.  At the time of his termination, Elgin had been an employee of the federal government for more than 16 years.

Elgin took his case to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), claiming that the federal act requiring registration with the selective service was unconstitutional because it only involves a specific group of men and therefore discriminates based on sex.

Lawyers for Elgin argued that the statutes governing the case did not preclude a federal employee from taking their case to federal district court.  They also argued that Congress, in enacting the law, never specified jurisdictional restraints either.

The Department of Treasury argued that the MSPB can make decisions in constitutional matters, which brought on many comments and questions from the Court, especially from Justice Kagan, who described that ability as “weird.”

Questions from all the Justices continued to focus on why the MSPB would have the ability to make constitutional decisions and what type of employee can bring action in what jurisdiction.

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The World in 2:00 – November 25, 2015

The World in 2:00

The U.N. warns that political crisis in Burundi is dragging the country toward civil war.

DHS Releases Video On Refugee Vetting Process

Refugees wait for food deliveries at Syria's Yarmouk camp. February 26,2014. UN Photo/UNRWA.

“We can continue to ensure our own security, while doing our share to welcome refugees fleeing violence,” Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said.

Wednesday, November 25

● USPIRG releases 30th annual toy safety report

● 86,000 Syrian immigrants live in the U.S.

● Atheist “nativity” celebrates Bill of Rights

● Doctors endorse wider use of generic drugs

● Post office starts “Letters FROM Santa”

● Girls’ toy list: Barbie soars as Frozen fades

Pentagon: Russian Jet Was Flying Over Anti-Assad Rebel Area

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said that U.S. forces heard the Turks give ten warnings to the two Russian pilots to leave the airspace.

Tunisia Declares State Of Emergency After Bus Blast Kills Presidential Guards

Tunisian President has declared a month-long state of emergency after the bus explosion carrying presidential guards killed 12 and injuring at least 17. Sources say the attack may have been linked the Islamic State group (ISIS).

Obama, Hollande: We Will Deliver Justice and Defend Our Nations

Hollande said France will not send ground troops into Syria and called again for a “joint response” to fight IS.