The Availability of Judicial Review Regarding Military Base Closures and Realignments
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The 2005 round of military base realignments and closures BRAC is now underway. The Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 Base Closure Act, as amended, establishes mandatory procedures to be followed throughout the BRAC process and identifies criteria to be used in formulating BRAC recommendations. However, judicial review is unlikely to be available to remedy alleged failures to comply with the Base Closure Acts provisions. A synopsis of the relevant law regarding the availability of judicial review in this context is included below The actions of the Secretary of Defense Secretary and the independent BRAC Commission Commission are not considered to be final agency action, and thus cannot be judicially reviewed pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act APA. Even if a court determined that the actions of the Secretary and the Commission were final agency action, the court would likely consider the case to fall under one of two APA exceptions to judicial review 1 when statues preclude judicial review or 2 when agency action is committed to agency discretion by law. The Presidents actions cannot be judicially reviewed under the APA, because the President is not an agency covered by the statute. A claim that the President exceeded his statutory authority under the Base Closure Act has been held to be judicially unreviewable, because the Base Closure Act gives the President broad discretion in approving or disapproving BRAC recommendations. Thus, courts would likely allow the BRAC process to proceed even if the Department of Defense, the Commission, or the President did not comply with the Base Closure Acts requirements.
- Administration and Management
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies