FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Harry M. Seidman
Supplemental Rules for Social Security Litigation Take Effect; ACUS Recommendation Initiated Project
Washington, D.C., December 1, 2022—An amendment to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to establish supplemental rules for Social Security litigation takes effect today. The amendment, which had been adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court, implements a recommendation put forward by the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS).
In December 2016, the ACUS Assembly adopted Recommendation 2016-3, Special Procedural Rules for Social Security Litigation in District Court. This recommendation, informed by a comprehensive report by Professors Jonah Gelbach and David Marcus, encouraged the Judicial Conference of the United States to develop a uniform set of procedural rules for cases in which an individual sought district court review of a final administrative decision by the Commissioner of Social Security. The report identified widely differing district court procedures for these cases.
The supplemental rules that took effect today will bring much needed uniformity to Social Security disability and related litigation.
During the four years following adoption of Recommendation 2016-3, the Judicial Conference’s Advisory Committee on Civil Rules drafted and refined the supplemental rules. During deliberations, District Court Judge Sara Lioi noted it was significant that the project began with a proposal by ACUS, bolstered by a thorough study by two leading scholars.
The Judicial Conference’s standing committee unanimously voted, with one abstention, to approve the supplemental rules for transmission to the Judicial Conference. The standing committee approved the rules and transmitted them to the Supreme Court on September 28, 2021, with a recommendation that the Court adopt them. The Supreme Court adopted the rules and transmitted them to Congress on April 11, 2022.
ACUS Chair Andrew Fois said about the new rules, “We are delighted that the Judicial Conference adopted the ACUS recommendation to issue these rules and that the Congress allowed them to take effect. The new rules will go a long way towards improving the experience of Social Security disability claimants in federal courts across the country.”
The Administrative Conference of the United States is an independent, non-partisan federal agency within the executive branch dedicated to improving administrative law and federal regulatory processes. It conducts applied research, and provides expert recommendations and other advice, to improve federal agency procedures. Its membership is composed of senior federal officials, academics, and other experts from the private sector. Since 1968, ACUS has issued hundreds of recommendations, published reports and reference guides, and organized forums to improve the efficiency, adequacy, and fairness of administrative processes such as rulemaking and adjudication. Many have resulted in reforms by federal agencies, the President, Congress, and the Judicial Conference of the United States. Learn more at www.acus.gov.