U.S. Supreme Court

Case Status


Docket Number



2013 Term


Questions Presented

When, if ever, may a court exercising jurisdiction pursuant to a waiver of sovereign immunity invoke the strict construction canon applicable to such waivers to construe a separate statutory provision that creates the substantive rights at issue?

Case Updates

U.S. Supreme Court vacates Sixth Circuit ruling that barred companies from suing the government to recover interest owed on the overpayment of taxes

December 02, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court granted the certiorari petition, vacated the Sixth Circuit's ruling, and remanded the case to the Sixth Circuit to address the Tucker Act jurisdictional argument that the Government raised for the first time in its brief in opposition to certiorari.

U.S. Chamber requests review of Sixth Circuit decision

August 26, 2013

The U.S. Chamber asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in order to provide businesses and individuals with greater clarity about how courts are to determine the scope of a government sovereign immunity waiver. In this case, the Sixth Circuit misapplied the “canon of strict construction” in order to effectively block an auto manufacturer from recovering interest owed to the company on an overpayment of taxes. That court's flawed analysis creates a needless and unfair obstacle to monetary recovery that would be applicable in many contexts, including cases brought by taxpayers, government contractors, and victims of government malfeasance. If upheld, the Sixth Circuit’s decision would preclude individuals and companies from recovering monetary payments to which they are entitled; leave some individuals and companies without redress intended by Congress for their contract, tort, and other injuries; and frustrate the ability of the federal government to contract with private parties. The government is already free to determine whether it will be subject to particular types of monetary actions, and it is equally free to specify, through the governing statute, the terms on which monetary recovery may be had. The government has no need for, or entitlement to, the further benefit of a court-made rule requiring the statute authorizing monetary recovery to be strictly construed against the very recovery it authorizes.

Case Documents