November 20th, 2023 2 Minute Read Public Filings by Ilya Shapiro, Tim Rosenberger

Amicus Brief: Corner Post, Inc. v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve

Corner Post, a small consumer-finance business founded in 2018, is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to clarify when the six-year statute of limitations for suits against government agencies begins to run. Does it begin when an agency issues a final rule or other action, or when that final agency action first injures the plaintiff? The statute of limitations for claims under the Administrative Procedure Act states that “every civil action commenced against the United States” must be “filed within six years after the right of action first accrues.” And under the APA, the plaintiff “is entitled to judicial review” if he “suffer[s] legal wrong because of agency action” or becomes “adversely affected or aggrieved by agency action.”

In 2011, seven years before Corner Post opened, the Federal Reserve Board adopted a rule setting the fees merchants can be charged when customers use debit cards. In 2021, Corner Post challenged the board’s rule as exceeding its statutory authority. The government maintains that its challenge is time-barred—and this is a question that splits the lower courts.

It seems like a technical issue of eye-glazing legalisms, but it is pretty galling: the government argues that a business that began operations more than six years after a regulation was enacted can never challenge that regulation. The Manhattan Institute has joined the National Federation for Independent Business and two other groups on a brief supporting Corner Post and arguing that the relevant statute of limitations should begin to run when a business is harmed by an agency action.

Ilya Shapiro is a senior fellow and director of Constitutional Studies at the Manhattan Institute. Follow him on Twitter here.

Tim Rosenberger is a legal fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

Photo: huePhotography/iStock

Donate

Are you interested in supporting the Manhattan Institute’s public-interest research and journalism? As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, donations in support of MI and its scholars’ work are fully tax-deductible as provided by law (EIN #13-2912529).