June 29, 2012
On May 21, 2012, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Astrue v. Capato. The question in this case was whether twins who were conceived in vitro after the death of their biological father were eligible for Social Security child survivor benefits. The Social Security Administration determined that they were not because the they could not inherit the father’s personal personal property under state law, a requirement under the Social Security Act--but a federal appellate court disagreed and ruled in favor of the twins.
In an opinion delivered by Justice Ginsburg, the Supreme Court unanimously reversed the lower appellate court, holding that the Social Security Administration’s interpretation of the Act was better attuned to the statute’s text and design, and entitled to judicial deference.
To discuss the case, we have Adam White, who is Counsel at the law firm of Boyden Gray & Associates, a regulatory strategy and litigation firm in Washington, D.C.