United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
November 19, 2018
from the United States District Court for the District of
Columbia (No. 1:16-cv-01843)
Flug Davidoff argued the cause for appellants. With her on
the briefs were Adam R. Brebner, Jerome Wesevich, and Edward
A. Murray and Scott L. Nelson were on the brief for amicus
curiae Public Citizen, Inc. in support of
Michael L. Foreman was on the brief for amici curiae National
Low Income Housing Coalition, et al. in support of
B. Stern, Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, argued the
cause for appellees. With him on the brief were Alisa B.
Klein and Carleen M. Zubrzycki, Attorneys.
Before: Katsas, Circuit Judge, and Silberman and Williams,
Senior Circuit Judges.
SILBERMAN, SENIOR CIRCUIT JUDGE
number of applicants sought Stafford Act economic relief from
FEMA because of storm damage. They, accompanied by La Union
del Pueblo Entero, appeal the district court's dismissal.
We, however, agree with the district court. We lack
jurisdiction over their claims because of a statutory
preclusion of judicial review.
Stafford Act authorizes the President to provide relief in
response to "major disasters." The President has
delegated authority under the Stafford Act to the Federal
Emergency Management Agency ("FEMA"), a subdivision
of the Department of Homeland Security. In 2000, Congress
established the Federal Assistance to Individuals and
Households Program. Unlike the traditional approach of
Stafford Act programs, which disburse federal funds to the
states, which in turn disburse those funds to individuals,
under this program, the federal government may provide forms
of direct relief to individuals and households after a major
disaster has been declared by the President.
statute creating the program contains three specific
statutory provisions designed to guide its implementation.
They call for the issuance of regulations as follows:
(1)"The President shall issue, and may alter and amend,
such regulations as may be necessary for the guidance of
personnel carrying out Federal assistance functions
at the site of a major disaster or emergency. Such
regulations shall include provisions for insuring that the
distribution of supplies, the processing of applications, and
other relief and assistance activities shall be accomplished
in an equitable and impartial manner,
without discrimination on the grounds of race, color,
religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English
proficiency, or economic status." 42 U.S.C. §
5151(a) (emphasis added);
(2)"The President shall prescribe rules and regulations
to carry out this section, including criteria,
standards, and procedures for determining
eligibility for assistance." 42 U.S.C. §
5174(j) (emphasis added);
(3)"The President shall issue rules which provide for
the fair and impartial consideration of
appeals under this section." 42 U.S.C. §
5189a(c) (emphasis added).
there is a fourth statutory provision of the Stafford Act
applying to this case, a preclusion of judicial ...