The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against the lawsuit filed by the Association of Administrative Law Judges, a labor union, claiming that agency productivity guidelines interfered with ALJ independence.
I have always thought that the argument that encouraging greater productivity somehow forced ALJs to approve more claims was preposterous. For goodness sake, the ALJs don't write their decisions!
The agency has not always treated its ALJs with the respect they deserve but this lawsuit wasn't the answer. The ALJ Association would be on sounder ground if it stuck to issues like removing the decision writers from hearing offices. That's an issue where most people would agree that the agency's position is preposterous.