In a unanimous decision issued today, the Supreme Court in Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes found that approved jurisdictional determinations (JDs) issued by the Army Corps may be challenged in federal district court under the Administrative Procedure Act. A copy of the decision is available here.
The lower courts had been split on whether JDs constituted “final agency action” – the trigger for jurisdiction under the APA. As we have written about before, the Supreme Court was expected to address this issue in light of its recent precedent in similar contexts which found that agency actions that “determined a party’s rights or obligations” ripe for judicial review. With Hawkes, the Supreme Court has definitively concluded that JDs “give rise to direct and appreciable legal consequences” and that, as a result, JDs are reviewable by federal courts.