By Melissa McKinney and Sarah Orwig

Electrical Welfare Trust Fund v. United States

In this civil case, the Electrical Welfare Trust Fund (“Fund”) sought to recover money paid to the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”).  The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.  Because the Fund’s claim sought reimbursement for a payment under 42 U.S.C. § 18061(b), which is not a tax, proper jurisdiction rested with the Court of Federal Claims.  The Fund argued their payment to HHS was an internal revenue tax, over which the district court would have had concurrent jurisdiction to hear the suit.  Because the Fund’s payment was made to HHS and not made to the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Court held that the payment was not an internal revenue tax.

Phil Kerpen v. Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

A class action on behalf of the users of Virginia’s toll road near Washington Dulles International Airport (“Dulles”) sought to prevent the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (“MWAA”) from utilizing the collected toll money for improvements to Dulles and the extension of the DC Metro to the airport.  The interstate compact between Virginia and the District of Columbia that formed the MWAA (charged with managing Reagan National and Dulles) has long been a source of litigation.  In this civil case, Appellants sought to invalidate this use of toll road revenue on a number of grounds, including claims that MWAA is a federal organization and that it violated the Administrative Procedures Act as well as Articles I and II and the Guarantee Clause of the Constitution.  Addressing each in turn, the Fourth Circuit found that all of Appellants’ claims were without merit.  The Court therefore affirmed the district court’s dismissal of all of Appellants’ claims.