Bowen v. Massachusetts

RESPONDENT: Massachusetts
LOCATION: Federal Bureau of Prisons

DOCKET NO.: 87-712
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1988-1990)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

CITATION: 487 US 879 (1988)
ARGUED: Apr 20, 1988
DECIDED: Jun 29, 1988

Roy T. Englert, Jr. - on behalf of the Federal Petitioners/Respondents
Thomas A. Barnico - on behalf of State Respondent/Petitioner

Facts of the case


Media for Bowen v. Massachusetts

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 20, 1988 in Bowen v. Massachusetts

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 29, 1988 in Bowen v. Massachusetts

William H. Rehnquist:

The opinions of the Court in two cases will be announced by Justice Stevens.

John Paul Stevens:

The first case I have announced is Bowen against Massachusetts, Nos. 87-712 and 87-929.

The principal question presented in this case is whether a Federal District Court has jurisdiction to review a final order of the Secretary of Health and Human Services refusing to reimburse a state for a category of expenditures under its Medicaid program.

The answer to the question depends on the meaning of Section 702 and 704 of the Administrative Procedure Act.

With respect to Section 702, the issue is whether an action seeking a review of a decision by the secretary is allowing reimbursement of these expenses is an action seeking relief other than money damages within the meaning of the statute.

Largely for reasons stated in an opinion for the District of Columbia Circuit written by Judge Bork, we disagreed with the secretary and conclude that this is not an action for money damages.

With respect to Section 704, the question is whether relief is barred because the state has an adequate remedy in the Claims Court.

And for reasons stated in our opinion, we hold that the Claims Court remedy is not adequate.

Accordingly, we reject the secretary's arguments and conclude that the District Court did have jurisdiction to grant complete relief in this case.

Justice White has filed an opinion concurring in the result and Justice Scalia has filed a dissenting opinion in which the Chief Justice and Justice Kennedy have joined.