April 08, 2009

John Cooney and Chris Diamond prevail in D.C. Circuit

1 min

John Cooney and Chris Diamond successfully obtained a decision from the D. C. Circuit that reversed a District Court decision dismissing a Bill of Attainder case on jurisdictional grounds.

The litigation challenges a statute adopted by Congress in 2006 to impose specific price controls directly on our client alone out of all the milk producers in the United States. The District Court dismissed on the theory that the client was required to exhaust the Department of Agriculture's administrative procedure. The court of appeals reversed on the basis of arguments developed by Chris Diamond, which showed that the exhaustion requirement does not apply when the relief sought is a declaration that the statute is unconstitutional, since an agency head lacks authority to invalidate an act of Congress.

The court of appeals directed the lower court to proceed to the merits of the Bill of Attainder claim.