Consent to be Sued is Strictly Construed
The terms of a statute waiving immunity from suit define the
court's jurisdiction to entertain suit, and the consent is no
than the limitations which condition it. See United States v.
supra; FDIC v. Meyer, 510 U.S. 471 (1994); Honda v. Clark, 386 U.S.
501 (1967). Inasmuch as the United States may not be sued in the
of consent legislation, the claimant's right to sue is necessarily
subject to such conditions as Congress has seen fit to impose,
restrictions as to time, place, and manner of suit. See Reid v.
States, 211 U.S. at 538; Munro v. United States, supra; Dalehite v.
United States, 346 U.S. at 31. No representative of the United
has the power to waive jurisdictional conditions or limitations.
United States v. Fitch, 185 F.2d 471, 474 (10th Cir. 1950); Finn v.
United States, 123 U.S. 227, 233 (1887). |
Jurisdiction cannot be extended by implication beyond the plain
language of the statute. See Lane v. Pena, 116 S.Ct. 2092 (1996);
States v. Nordic Village, 503 U.S. 30 (1992). United States v.
282 U.S. 656, 659 (1931); Lynch v. United States, supra; United
v. Sherwood, supra; Honda v. Clark, 386 U.S. 484, 501 (1967);
v. United States, supra.
Consent to sue is a privilege and not a property right and may
withdrawn at any time. See Lynch v. United States, supra. Repeal of
jurisdictional statute effectively withdraws jurisdiction, even as
suits previously filed and still pending on the date of repeal. See
Bruner v. United States, 343 U.S. 112, 116 (1952); Hallowell v.
239 U.S. 506, 508 (1916). It makes no difference which party was
successful in the district court, for, if timely appeal is taken,
case remains a "pending suit" which must be dismissed upon
jurisdiction. See Gulf Refining Co. v. United States, 269 U.S. 125,
(1925); Gulf, Col. & S.F. Ry. v. Dennis, 224 U.S. 503, 506 (1912);
United States v. The Schooner Peggy, 1 Cranch (5 U.S.) 102, 110
[cited in USAM 4-2.100]