United States v. Fausto
484 U.S. 439 (1988)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Fausto, 484 U.S. 439 (1988)

United States v. Fausto

No. 86-595

Argued October 7, 1987

Decided January 25, 1988

484 U.S. 439


In November, 1980, the Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) advised respondent, a nonpreference eligible employee in the excepted service, that it intended to dismiss him for a number of reasons, including unauthorized use of a Government vehicle. After he was discharged without being informed of grievance rights granted to him by the FWS regulations, respondent sought review by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), which dismissed his appeal on the ground that, under the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA), a nonpreference eligible in the excepted service has no right to appeal to the MSPB. In 1982, the FWS reconsidered the matter, concluded that only a 30-day suspension for misuse of a Government vehicle was warranted, and offered respondent backpay from the date the suspension would have ended until the date the program for which he was hired closed. On respondent's appeal, the Secretary of the Interior upheld the FWS decision, rejecting respondent's claims that his suspension was unwarranted and that he was entitled to additional backpay for the 30 days and a period beyond the close of the program. Respondent then filed this action under the Back Pay Act in the Claims Court, which dismissed on the ground that the CSRA was exclusively applicable and did not provide for judicial review in this situation. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded, holding that respondent could seek Claims Court review traditionally available under the Tucker Act based on the Back Pay Act, that his suspension was wrongful, and that he was entitled to backpay for the period of the suspension.

Held: The CSRA, which affords to nonpreference eligibles in the excepted service no administrative or judicial review of adverse personnel action of the type involved here, precludes judicial review for those employees under the Tucker Act based on the Back Pay Act. The CSRA was designed to replace the haphazard arrangements that had built up over almost a century with one integrated system for administrative and judicial review of adverse personnel action. The Act's comprehensive nature, its attention throughout to the rights of nonpreference excepted service employees, and the structure of the Act combine to establish that its failure to include these employees in the provisions for administrative and judicial review of the type of adverse personnel action involved

Page 484 U. S. 440

here represents a congressional judgment that judicial review is not available. Interpreting the CSRA to foreclose review in this case is not contrary to the established principle of statutory construction that Congress will be presumed to have intended judicial review of agency action unless there is "persuasive reason" to believe otherwise. Here, in view of the statutory scheme, there is ample basis for applying the exception contained in the principle. Moreover, the principle of statutory construction disfavoring repeals by implication is not applicable here with regard to the CSRA's effect on the Back Pay Act. Rather, the classic judicial task of reconciling laws is involved. Pp. 484 U. S. 443-455.

783 F.2d 1020 and 791 F.2d 1554, reversed.

SCALIA, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which REHNQUIST, C.J., and WHITE, BLACKMUN, and O'CONNOR, JJ., joined. BLACKMUN, J., filed a concurring opinion, post, p. 484 U. S. 455. STEVENS, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which BRENNAN and MARSHALL, JJ., joined, post, p. 484 U. S. 455.

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