Jody L. Davis

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Intracircuit nonacquiescence by an administrative agency is the "deliberate refusal to implement holdings in binding [circuit] court [of appeals] decisions in cases adjudicated before it." When a circuit court renders a decision that differs from the agency's schematic, the agency will either issue a formal declaration that it will not follow the circuit decision, or will silently disregard the decision and attempt to impress others that it is following the circuit's rule. The Social Security Administration's ("SSA") policy of intracircuit nonacquiescence in the Southern District of New York has been successfully challenged as being "inconsistent with the constitutionally required separation of powers." In addition to the Southern District's declaration, the Fourth, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits have also pronounced SSA's policy of intracircuit nonacquiescence as contrary to the Constitution. This Casenote will summarize the framework for finding nonacquiescence and the application of the Stieberger v. Sullivan framework to specific circuit rulings.