U.S. Supreme Court on Federal Employees' Access to Court

WARNING - Most of you will not care about this. The Supreme Court held today that a federal government employee covered by the Civil Service Reform Act must bring employment claims before the Merit Systems Protection Board, rather than district court.

The MSPB is the exclusive forum, even if the employee is raising a constitutional law claim, and even if the employee is ineligible for federal employment. 

In this case, Elgin did not register for the draft and was fired because people who do not register are ineligible for federal employment.  He tried to bring a claim at the MSPB, but an ALJ held that MSPB had no jurisdiction over his claims. So, he sued in district court, which denied his claim on the merits.  He then appealed to the First Circuit Court of Appeals, which decided that both the district court and the First Circuit lacked jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court agreed, holding that the MSPB can decide constitutional law issues, and that MSPB rulings are subject to review by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and by the Supreme Court.

The case is Elgin v. Dept. of Treasury and the opinion is here