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Legal Memorandum: MSPB Decisions and a Removal Action

Issue: Whether a Court should reverse the final decision of the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board affirming an Appellant’s removal, if that decision is not supported by substantial evidence.

Area of Law: Administrative Law, Administrative Law & Regulation (Federal and State), Employee Law, Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Merit Systems Protection Board decision; Standard of review; Removal
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: 288 F.3d 1288; 789 F.2d 908; 714 F.2d 913; 900 F.2d 233; 35 F.3d 1543; 2 F.3d 1137
Cited Statutes: 5 U.S.C. § 2302, § 7703(c); 5 C.F.R. § 1201.56(c)(2)
Date: 07/01/2005

The Court’s interpretation of a statute such as the Whistleblower Protection Act (“WPA”) is a question of law that the Court reviews de novoMarano v. Dep’t of Justice, 2 F.3d 1137, 1141 (Fed. Cir. 1993) TA l "Marano v. Dep’t of Justice, 2 F.3d 1137, 1141 (Fed. Cir. 1993)" s "Marano v. Dep’t of Justice (Fed. Cir. 1993)" c 1 .  Removal constitutes an appealable action under the WPA.  See 5 U.S.C. § 2302 TA l "5 U.S.C. § 2302" s "5 U.S.C. § 2302" c 2 .

The standard of review for MSPB decisions is governed by 5 U.S.C. § 7703(c) TA l "5 U.S.C. § 7703(c)" s "5 U.S.C. § 7703(c)" c 2 , which requires the Court to set aside MSPB actions, findings, or conclusions that are (1) arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law; (2) obtained without following the procedures required by law, rule, or regulation; or (3) unsupported by substantial evidence.  Haebe v. Dep’t of Justice, 288 F.3d 1288, 1298 (Fed. Cir. 2002) TA l "Haebe v. Dep’t of Justice, 288 F.3d 1288, 1298 (Fed. Cir. 2002)" s "Haebe v. Dep’t of Justice (Fed. Cir. 2002)" c 1 ; Marano, 2 F.3d at 1141 TA s "Marano v. Dep’t of Justice (Fed. Cir. 1993)" .  Under this standard, the Court “‘must determine whether, considering the record as a whole, the agency’s evidence is sufficient to be found by a reasonable factfinder to meet the evidentiary burden applicable to the particular case.'”  […]

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