Schweiker v. Chilicky

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Schweiker v. Chilicky
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued March 1, 1988
Decided June 24, 1988
Full case name Schweiker, et al. v. Chilicky, et al.
Citations 487 U.S. 412 (more)
108 S. Ct. 2460; 101 L. Ed. 2d 370; 1988 U.S. LEXIS 2872; 56 U.S.L.W. 4767; 53 Cal. Comp. Cas 597; Unemployment Ins. Rep. (CCH) P17,999
Prior history Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Court membership
Chief Justice
William Rehnquist
Associate Justices
William J. Brennan, Jr. · Byron White
Thurgood Marshall · Harry Blackmun
John P. Stevens · Sandra Day O'Connor
Antonin Scalia · Anthony Kennedy
Case opinions
Majority O'Connor, joined by Rehnquist, White, Scalia, Kennedy; Stevens (all but n. 3)
Concurrence Stevens
Dissent Brennan, joined by Marshall, Blackmun

Schweiker v. Chilicky, 487 U.S. 412 (1988), was a United States Supreme Court decision that established limitations on implied causes of action. The Court determined that a cause of action would not be implied for the violation of rights where the U.S. Congress had already provided a remedy for the violation of rights at issue, even if the remedy was inadequate.

In this case, seriously disabled people were wrongfully being denied federal benefits (although, on appeal to an Administrative Law Judge, two thirds had their payments restored). Although Congress provides for return of back-pay, no provision is made for pain and suffering or other economic losses. The injured parties sued responsible agency personnel, under the theory that pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents they could allege a private right of action for deprivation of due process.

The Court examined whether Congress intended a private right of action under these circumstances, and concluded that if Congress has created a meaningful remedy – even if it is incomplete – then no Bivens-type remedy is available. Special factors counseling hesitation included judicial deference to a combination of:

  1. some indication that Congress considered providing a cause of action, and chose not to; and
  2. the design of some government program containing what Congress considers an adequate remedial mechanism.

Here Congress has provided a great deal of process, and some relief, and has been otherwise silent as to a remedy, which the Court found to be enough to foreclose a Bivens remedy.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Text of Schweiker v. Chilicky, 487 U.S. 412 (1988) is available from:  Findlaw  Justia