Bowen v. Galbreath

LOCATION: New York City Council

DOCKET NO.: 86-1146
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1988-1990)

CITATION: 485 US 74 (1988)
ARGUED: Dec 09, 1987
DECIDED: Feb 24, 1988

Facts of the case


Media for Bowen v. Galbreath

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 09, 1987 in Bowen v. Galbreath

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - February 24, 1988 in Bowen v. Galbreath

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

The opinion of the Court in No.86-1146, Bowen against Galbreath will be announced by Justice Brennan.

This case is here from the Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit.

The respondent applied for supplemental security income benefits under Title XVI of the Social Security Act.

The Secretary of Health and Human Services denied the application.

Respondent then appealed to the District Court which reversed the denial and awarded respondent to the past-due benefits.

And the court also ordered the Secretary to pay attorney's fees to respondent's attorney out of the past-due benefits.

And the question for decision on this case is whether the Court has the authority to make of that order.

The Court of Appeals held that it did and affirmed the District Court.

We reversed.

We hold that the District Court does not have the authority to order the Secretary to withhold a portion of past-due SSI benefits for the payment of attorney's fees received in judicial proceedings under Title XVI.

The opinion is unanimous except that Justice Kennedy took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.