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Alternative Approaches to Judicial Review of Social Security Disability Cases

March 8, 2002

Summary: The report by Professors Verkuil and Lubbers was commissioned by the  the Board. It analyzes the advantages and disadvantages of two major proposals for change that have been made over the years: to create a new Article I Social Security Court with Article III review limited to legal and constitutional issues, or, to maintain the current district court review structure but centralize court of appeals review in a special Article III court (a Social Security Court of Appeals). The authors conclude that, on balance, an Article I review structure would produce real improvements in the system of administrative justice.

About the authors
Paul Verkuil and Jeffrey Lubbers are long-time students of the SSA disability decision process. Professor Verkuil, currently a Visiting Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, was a participant in an early study of the SSA hearings and appeals process.

Professor Lubbers, now a Fellow in Law and Government at American University’s Washington College of Law, worked on these issues as research director of the Administrative Conference United States (“ACUS”). Both were principal co-authors of the 1992 ACUS study on the Federal Administrative Judiciary. They maintain an active interest in the administrative law field through teaching and research. Professor Verkuil has co-authored a leading treatise, Administrative Law and Process (3d ed.) (Foundation Press, 1999), and Professor Lubbers has written A Guide to Federal Agency Rulemaking (3d ed.) (ABA Book Publishing 1998). They are both participants in a major project of the ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice to restate the entire field of administrative law.



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