In an unpublished opinion, the Ninth Circuit decided McLean v. Colvin, reversing the District Court's denial of fees and expenses under the Equal Access to Justice Act. The case is important because it reinforces in a persuasive manner the proposition that an ALJ decision that lacks the support of substantial evidence or violates the law, the cases, or the rulings will lack safe refuge under the cloak of reasonableness. Congress passed and Pres. Reagan signed the EAJA to offset the expense and burden of proceeding to court against the United States. And unduly strict reading of the substantial justification doctrine defeats the purpose and intent of the act to reimburse partially that expense.
One word of caution is in order. The court cites to Social Security Ruling 96-7p. the Commissioner superseded that ruling with Social Security Ruling 16-3p on March 28, 2016. Look for synthesis and comparison of the two rulings on this blog in the near future.
The Legal Kernels Derived from McLean