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Corner Post, Inc. v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) authorizes lawsuits to challenge a federal agency’s action to seek judicial review of the action. The applicable statute of limitations requires that any such lawsuit must be filed “within six years after the right of action first accrue[d].” Corner Post, a truck stop and convenience store that opened in 2018, sued the Federal Reserve Board in 2021 to challenge a rule, issued in 2010, that regulates the amount that companies like Visa and Mastercard may charge merchants for processing debit-card transactions. The Board moved to dismiss, arguing that Corner Post’s complaint was untimely under the statute of limitations because the right to sue first accrued 11 years earlier, in 2010, when the rule became final. Corner Post, on the other hand, argued that the right of action first accrued in 2018, when Corner Post was first adversely affected by the rule. The district court agreed with the Board and dismissed the case. The court of appeals affirmed, and the Supreme Court granted review.

In the Supreme Court, Public Citizen filed an amicus brief supporting the Board. The brief explains that the question when a cause of action accrues is a context-specific inquiry that requires a court to consider statutory purpose and real-world practicalities. Accepting Corner Post’s argument would leave every regulation indefinitely open to legal attack. This outcome allows would-be plaintiffs to circumvent the APA’s carefully structured process for petitioning agencies to amend or update their regulations, and it would lead to extreme regulatory instability. The brief emphasizes that no statutory text or underlying legal principle requires the Court to embrace the “perpetual-accrual” rule proposed by Corner Post.