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house Bill H.R. 2329

Should People Who Sue The Government Be Able To Bypass The Lower Court System?

Argument in favor

The current rule that prohibits higher courts from hearing lower court complaints until those cases are closed unnecessarily delays the judicial process and justice.

wpeckham's Opinion
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02/21/2016
I can't hear any judges complaining that they have to lie to workload. If some questions can be answered by a higher court before the case is closed in the lower court and all parties agree that it should be so I see no reason to object
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Stephen's Opinion
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08/09/2016
If you sue the federal government, it should place take place in a non-federal court. Otherwise, there's a conflict of interest.
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John's Opinion
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07/06/2015
Seems if both parties agree, why not? Seems like common sense on issues that are going to get appealed anyway...
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Argument opposed

This bill weakens the power of the lower courts. Plus, the higher court system’s increased involvement could negatively impact the decisions made by lower courts.

pgshpak's Opinion
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08/08/2016
No, the lower courts exist for many reasons, and one of them is to weed out frivolous lawsuits. If this bill were to pass, then upper courts would be flooded by the same sort of people who sue Starbucks for leaving a ¼ inch of room in their coffee cups.
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Curmudgeon's Opinion
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08/01/2015
Say you are a citizen plaintiff, suing civilly the U.S. Gov't. No matter what level of court, if beyond all likelihood you manage to win, that is your victory, and you leave happy. Only if you lose might you need to reframe your dispute and try again. The Government is not normally in the business of countersuing as it is bad publicity and of no payout. Thus there is little justification in initially seeking to overreach the level of court that will hear your case except to garner headlines.
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Bill.W's Opinion
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08/08/2016
Due process is supposed to provide an even playing field for everyone.
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What is House Bill H.R. 2329?

When someone files suit against the U.S. government in a lower court, a higher court of appeals or supreme court cannot intervene until the lower court's case is closed.

In other words, the higher court is kept from hearing the matter until the lower court has rendered its decision.  This bill would create an exception to this current rule by allowing the parties involved in the case to opt for immediately going to a higher court before the lower court closes a case.

The bill also allows plaintiffs to escalate to a higher court without having to wait for the lower court case to finish in cases where the plaintiff is suing the U.S. government.

Impact

Plaintiffs filing claims against the U.S.; plaintiffs who file a claim against other parties in federal court; the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (USCFC); federal courts.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2329

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

Media: Sponsoring Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) explained in a House Judiciary press release that the bill would remove roadblocks to citizens who wish to sue the government:

"Americans have been stymied by unnecessary procedural roadblocks when seeking to obtain redress from the federal government. This insulates government from accountability and I applaud the members of the Judiciary Committee for passing my legislation to reform this problem. I look forward to the bill’s passage by the full House and to giving citizens full access to justice when defending their rights against the federal government."

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) also expressed his support of the legislation in the press release:

"Originally enacted by Congress in the aftermath of the Civil War, Section 1500 was signed into law to address a problem that no longer exists. The Ensuring Access to Justice for Claims Against the United States Act passed by the Judiciary Committee removes procedural obstacles and paves a path for redress for those whose rights have been violated by the federal government."

Of Note: Similar legislation has been introduced before. In 2014, Rep. DeSantis introduced the bill to the House, with Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) introducing similar legislation in the Senate at the same time. Although Sen. Wicker's bill never made it to the Senate floor for a vote, Rep. DeSantis's managed to reach the floor of the House, but never received a vote. Currently, this bill has a companion bill in the Senate, introduced by Sen. Wicker.

Media: 

AKA

Ensuring Access to Justice for Claims Against the United States Act

Official Title

To ensure appropriate judicial review of Federal Government actions by amending the prohibition on the exercise of jurisdiction by the United States Court of Federal Claims of certain claims pending in other courts.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      The Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedMay 14th, 2015
    No, the lower courts exist for many reasons, and one of them is to weed out frivolous lawsuits. If this bill were to pass, then upper courts would be flooded by the same sort of people who sue Starbucks for leaving a ¼ inch of room in their coffee cups.
    Like (7)
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    Say you are a citizen plaintiff, suing civilly the U.S. Gov't. No matter what level of court, if beyond all likelihood you manage to win, that is your victory, and you leave happy. Only if you lose might you need to reframe your dispute and try again. The Government is not normally in the business of countersuing as it is bad publicity and of no payout. Thus there is little justification in initially seeking to overreach the level of court that will hear your case except to garner headlines.
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    Due process is supposed to provide an even playing field for everyone.
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    Two words; DUE PROCESS. It's in place for a reason.
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    This is a solutionlookng for a problem. Many of these are financial,and need specialists. How does this impact class action suits? Seems ill conceived.
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    This bill is nuts! If parties could immediately go to an appeals court to serve as a court of original jurisdiction, why have District Courts? Besides, the District judges have much more expertise in handling matters of evidence and witnesses than Appeals courts do.
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    Federal district courts, not circuit courts, maintain original jurisdiction. Circuit courts maintain appellate jurisdiction only. Providing the opportunity for particular cases to be reviewed immediately by an appellate judiciary modifies the entire role of the appellate system, and would have implications for circuit courts in all cases. The role of circuit courts is to review procedural errors in lower-court activities, not to determine liability in a suit.
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    Due to the absence of a solid demand signal, 'no'.
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    If you sue the federal government, it should place take place in a non-federal court. Otherwise, there's a conflict of interest.
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    The court structure is in place for a reason, besides, why would both parties agree to appeal without having an answer first before going to the next level.
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    Not every case deserves to be or needs to be heard by the higher courts. The current method takes a while but it insures that petty cases don't clog up the higher courts meant to deal with constitutional matters (stay mad Abby).
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    As good as this may sound, it would create chaos in the federal judiciary. It would also encourage activists to needlessly exelarate their misbegotten causes and clog the court system.
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    The judicial system should be followed. If not then the Supreme Court would be kept busy by hearing frivolous cases, therefore gumming up the caseload keeping them from cases that will effect all Americans.
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    Gotta go through the right channels.
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    Seems if both parties agree, why not? Seems like common sense on issues that are going to get appealed anyway...
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    This merely increases the caseload for higher courts. The structure is in place to prevent just such an outcome.
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    I can't hear any judges complaining that they have to lie to workload. If some questions can be answered by a higher court before the case is closed in the lower court and all parties agree that it should be so I see no reason to object
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    Every person in the United States follows the same rules. Once Congress gets this through their heads the country will be better off. This applies to the justice dept, immigration, taxes, freedoms, rights, education, social programs, and whatever I missed. There should be NO special interest groups that are protected from following the rule of law and society within our borders.
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    The System is there. Use it. It will work for everyone's good. If it does not, Congress should act. This is part of their Job.
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    This is a good way to waste the courts time, which is already scarce. This wouldn't even benefit the people whom this bill enables, because cases would be delayed and not heard for YEARS due to the number of cases in queue. This is a terrible terrible idea.
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