Chambers v. Kijakazi
Opinion Date: November 20, 2023
Judge: Stephen A. Higginson
Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Government & Administrative Law, Public Benefits
Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed suit against multiple private entities and government officials, including, as relevant to the instant appeal, the Social Security Commissioner, a Social Security claims representative, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of Education (the “Federal Defendants”), asserting a number of claims relating to the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) allegedly improper withholding of his disability benefits.
The Fifth Circuit affirmed. The court concluded that it did not have subject matter jurisdiction over Mr. Chambers’ claims against the Social Security Administration representatives concerning his Social Security benefits and that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim as to its remaining claims against the Federal Defendants. The court explained that while the lack of jurisdiction is a sufficient basis on which to affirm the district court, Plaintiff’s broad challenges to “any of [the court’s] holdings dismissing the federal government defendants” warrant but a brief note. The court found no error in the district court’s dismissal of the Treasury Secretary, given its purely ministerial role in administering the offset for Plaintiff’s outstanding loan, or its dismissal of the Secretary of Education, given Plaintiff’s similar failure to exhaust administrative remedies with that department and failure to advance a colorable constitutional violation.
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