No. 00-1307.

534 U.S. 438 (2002)

122 S.Ct. 941

151 L.Ed.2d 908


Supreme Court of United States.

Decided February 19, 2002.

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Paul R. Q. Wolfson argued the cause for petitioner. With him on the briefs were Solicitor General Olson, Acting Assistant Attorney General Schiffer, Deputy Solicitor General Kneedler, Mark B. Stern, and Jeffrey Clair.

Peter Buscemi argued the cause for the Trustees of the United Mine Workers of America Combined Benefit Fund as amici curiae urging reversal. With him on the brief were John R. Mooney, Mark J. Murphy, and David W. Allen.

John R. Woodrum argued the cause for respondents. With him on the briefs was Harold R. Montgomery.*

Thomas, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Rehnquist, C. J., and Scalia, Kennedy, Souter, and Ginsburg, JJ., joined. Stevens, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which O'Connor and Breyer, JJ., joined, p. 462.

Justice Thomas, delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case arises out of the Commissioner of Social Security's assignment, pursuant to the Coal Industry Retiree Health Benefit Act of 1992 (Coal Act or Act), 26 U. S. C. § 9701 et seq. (1994 ed. and Supp. V), of 86 retired coal miners to the Jericol Mining, Inc. (Jericol). The question presented is whether the Coal Act permits the Commissioner to assign retired miners to the successors in interest of...

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