U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Williams & Connolly Clients in Carr v. Saul

April 2021

On April 22, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 in favor of Williams & Connolly’s clients in Carr v. Saul, where the firm represented two individuals seeking Social Security disability benefits, and the question presented was whether claimants seeking such benefits must raise Appointments Clause challenges to improperly appointed Social Security administrative law judges in order to preserve the issue for judicial review. In its unanimous opinion, the Court rejected every one of the government’s arguments, holding that the petitioners did not forfeit their Appointments Clause challenges by failing to make them first to their respective ALJs. The decision implicates significant administrative-law and separation-of-powers questions concerning the doctrine of issue exhaustion. Partner Sarah Harris argued Carr v. Saul in early March, marking her second argument before the Court this Term.  Other members of the team included Lisa Blatt, Luke McCloud, Tom Ryan, and Andy Hoffman.

Carr v. Saul represents the firm’s second Supreme Court victory this Term; in February, the Court ruled in our client’s favor in Salinas v. United States Railroad Retirement Board, another administrative-law case involving the availability of judicial review*. Williams & Connolly’s Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation team has two more cases pending before the Court this term. Earlier this week, partner Amy Saharia argued on behalf of petitioners in Sanchez v. Mayorkas, where the question presented is whether a grant of Temporary Protected Status authorizes eligible noncitizens to obtain lawful-permanent-resident status under 8 U.S.C. § 1255. Later this month, partner Lisa Blatt will present oral argument in Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., where the question presented is whether, consistent with the First Amendment, public school officials may regulate off-campus student speech that would materially and substantially disrupt the work and discipline of the school.

Click here to read the U.S. Supreme Court opinion in Carr v. Saul, and here to read coverage by Law360.

*All cases vary and none is predictive.

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