norml04 - Page 4



Page 4 Previous , Next , Original Image
Return to Index

 the Administrator's [nterpretatior, as reasonabk{, [g. at, 9'39 Petitioners do not contend that an}' of these exceptions
 (citing Chevron U.S.A. h_c. v. Nat,,well Rcsourcas D@3_.se appiy here. Instead, they assert that in ACT we _'ave only
 Counc{< 467 U.S. 837, 843-45 (198,1) (court may not substitute cursory attention to the statutory hlterpretation ar_pame_ t
 its own construction of ambiumus statutory pro_dsion for whereas, in their view, the law of the case doctrine appiies
 reasonable interpretation by agency of statute entrusted t.o only where the prior appeal has analyzed an issue at )engtK
 its administration)). We were troubled, however, by three of We disagree on both counts. First, our treatment of the
 the eight criteria and remanded the ease "for an explanation statutory interpretation question was entirdy adequate See-
 . tm_ taw of tt e
 as to how [these] had been utilized by the Administrator in end, even summarily treated issfles become '
 reaching his decision." Id. at. 940. In particular, we were case. b_ Christianso_i v. Colt hed'mstries Op_rc_:/:%, Corn
 concerned over the apparent impossibility of meeting the 486 U.S. 800, 817 (1988), the Supreme Court noted: "That the
 fourth, fifth, and eighth criteria, all of which assumed an Federal Cbcuit did not explieate its rationale is rrelevant, for
 availability of marijuana for medical purposes that was pro- the law of the case turns on whether a court previous%'
 . L LILL_IL
 hibited by Schedule I. '(eeidn[d] upon a rule or lav:'-_;h;ch the Federal _ .....
 necessarily did--not on whether, or how well, it explained the
 On March 26, 1992, the current Administrator issued the decision." In ACT, we decided that it was not. "an um'eason-
 order that is the subject of this appeal. See 57 Fed.. Reg. ab!e application of the statutory_ phrase [for. the Ammm:_.-'; :-_,'a-
 10,499 (Mar. 26, 1992) ("Final Order"). He concluded, on tor] to emphasize the Iack of exact scientific know]edge as t_
 remand, that his predecessor had not in fact relied on two of the ehemiea! effects of the drug% dements/' 9_0 F.2d at 9:{9.
 the three "impossible" criteria', he explained the third; and,
 after applying new criteria, he again denied the petition to As noted above, our only concern, in ACZ was with three
 resehedule marijuana. Id. at 10,508. of the standards adopted by the Administrator and his possL
 ble reliance on them. As a consequence in remanding the
 II. Dm(7_ssmN ease, we asked him to expiain how his decision had been
 affected by those standards. In the Final Order, the present
 A. Law of the Case Administrator found that two of these criteria--the "general
 availabiHb, of the substance" and the %se of the substat;ee by
 We held in ACT, that the Administrator's fi_terpretation of a substantial se_nent of ... medical practitioners"---played
 the CSA was reasonable. Under the "law of the ease" no ro!e in his predecessor's decision. See 57 Fed. I{eg. a_
 doctrine, appellate courts do not reconsider matters resolved 10,507.
 on a prior appeal in the same proceeding. 18 Wright &
 Miller, Federal Practice & Procedure  4478 at 788 (1981). Furl.her, the Administrator found that his predecessor's
 The doctrine is not a jurisdictional limitation rat, her, it conclusion that marijuana ._2.filed to meet the thirct of ti:e
 "merdy expresses the prac[k:e of courts generaily to rethse questioned criterm--"reeog_rition of [the drug's] clinical use in
 to reopen what has been decided .... "
 Messenger v. generally accepted pharmaeopeia"--rested on a de_e_mu:a-
 An&rson, 225 U.S. 436, 444 (1912). Thus, courts x_qtl reeon- tion that marijuana lacked a knov_m, reprodueiMe chemistry.
 sider prexdous]y decided questions in such exceptional cases See iccL We had objected to the "recognition of clinicai use"
 . . ._:-_ standard oniy because it seemed to require _idespread thera-
 as those m w,._. there has been an inter_,ening change of ..
 controlling law, or new e_ddenee has surfaced, or the previous peutie use of the drug--an impossibility for Schedule I sub-
 disposition has resulted in clear error or manifest injustice, stances. See ACT, 930 F.2d at 940. The Administrator's
 18 Wright & Miller,  4478 at 790. interpretation of that criterion meets our ob.iection.




Previous , Next , Return to Index