On March 9, 2015, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association, a case which concerned the Administrative Procedure Act, or APA. The question was whether the rule announced by the D.C. Circuit in its earlier case Paralyzed Veterans of America v. D.C. Arena L.P. was consistent with the APA. Under the Paralyzed Veterans rule, an agency must use the APA’s notice-and-comment procedures when it wishes to issue a new interpretation of a regulation that deviates significantly from one the agency has previously adopted.
In an opinion delivered by Justice Sotomayor, the Court held by a vote of 9-0 that the Paralyzed Veterans rule conflicted with the text of the APA and improperly imposed procedural requirements on agencies beyond those authorized by the statute. The Chief Justice and Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer and Kagan joined Justice Sotomayor’s opinion in full, and Justice Alito joined it except for part III-B. Justice Alito also filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment. Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas filed opinions concurring in the judgment. The judgment of the D.C. Circuit was reversed.
To discuss the case, we have Andrew Hessick, who is a Professor of Law at the University of Utah College of Law.