On November 13, the Supreme Court announced its decision in United States v. Bormes. The question in the case was whether the Little Tucker Act waives the sovereign immunity of the United States in damages actions under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), meaning the United States could be sued by a private individual for violating FCRA and ordered to pay monetary compensation. A federal appellate court determined that the Little Tucker Act did indeed allow recovery in money damages.
In an opinion delivered by Justice Scalia, the Supreme Court vacated the decision of the appellate court, holding unanimously that the Little Tucker Act does not waive the sovereign immunity of the United States in damages actions under FCRA. The Court then remanded the case for transfer to a different appellate court, to determine whether FCRA itself contains a waiver of sovereign immunity in damages actions against the government.
To discuss the case, we have Phil Pucillo, who a lecturer in law at Michigan State University College of Law.