7th Amendment Rights In Federal Statutory Claims Clarified

1989

In Granfinanciera v. Nordberg, the U.S. Supreme Court clarifies its ruling in Atlas Roofing Co. v. OSHRC. In Atlas Roofing, the Court found that Congress can, when it passes a federal statute, give full authority to an administrative agency to decide cases brought under that statute, as long as the statute involves certain “public rights” that Congress has seen fit to create. The Court here rules that a right is “public” 1) if the federal government itself is a party to the lawsuit; or (2) if “Congress, acting for a valid legislative purpose pursuant to its constitutional powers” has created a right that is “so closely integrated into a public regulatory scheme as to be a matter appropriate for agency resolution with a limited involvement” by the federal courts. Otherwise, the claim is “private,” and a party should be allowed to have a jury rule on it.