decided: April 19, 1988.
SANDRA GARDEBRING, COMMISSIONER OF THE MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, PETITIONER
ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE EIGHTH CIRCUIT.
Stevens J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Rehnquist, C.j., and White, Blackmun, and Scalia, JJ., joined. O'connor, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which Brennan, J., joined, and in which Marshall, J., joined as to the last paragraph, post, p. 432. Kennedy, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.
[ 485 U.S. Page 417]
JUSTICE STEVENS delivered the opinion of the Court.
In 1981 Congress amended the statute authorizing the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program to provide that a family receiving nonrecurring lump-sum income is ineligible for benefits for the number of months that the income would satisfy the family's standard of need. Section 2304 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, 95 Stat. 845, as amended,*fn1 42 U. S. C. § 602(a)(17) (1982 ed. and Supp. III); see generally Lukhard v. Reed, 481 U.S. 368, 371-373 (1987) (plurality opinion); see also id., at 384-386 (Powell, J., dissenting).*fn2 In this case the United
[ 485 U.S. Page 418]
States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held that the Minnesota Department of Human Services (the Department) could not enforce that amendment against respondent, and the class she represents, because it had not given them the notice required by a regulation promulgated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the Secretary), 45 CFR § 206.10(a)(2)(i) (1987). We granted certiorari to review the Court of Appeals' interpretation of the Secretary's regulation as well as its remedial decision in favor of an injunction barring the Department from recouping payments made to respondent during her period of ineligibility. Because we conclude that the regulation was not violated, we do not reach the remedy question.
On October 31, 1983, respondent's husband received a retroactive Social Security disability payment of $5,752. Respondent used the entire lump sum to pay a $3,863.75 arrearage on the family's home mortgage, an overdue car repair bill of $1,366, and a legal fee of $150, and the remainder to purchase clothing for her children and on other bills. Within two days, the entire sum had been expended.*fn3
On November 2, 1983, respondent reported the receipt (and the expenditure) of the Social Security payment to her caseworker and was advised that under the 1981 amendment her family would be ineligible for benefits for the next several months.*fn4 She immediately filed an administrative appeal
[ 485 U.S. Page 419]
and her family continued to receive benefits while the appeal was pending. See 45 CFR § 205.10(a)(6)(i) (1987). The Appeals Referee decided that the benefits should not be terminated because the Jenkinses had not received any advance notice of the new lump-sum rule, App. 69-73, but the Department's Deputy Commissioner reversed. Id., at 73-76. While expressing disagreement with the policy implemented by the 1981 amendment, he concluded that the federal statute must be enforced even though the lack of advance notice had produced a "harsh result."*fn5
When the administrative review proceedings terminated in August, the Jenkins family was again eligible for benefits. The Department's decision, however, meant that benefits had been improperly paid for the period between October 1983 and May 1984. Accordingly, as required by the federal statute, see 42 U. S. C. § 602(a)(22) (1982 ed. and Supp. III); see also 45 CFR § 233.20(a)(13) (1987), in due course the Department
[ 485 U.S. Page 420]
ordered recoupment of the wrongfully paid benefits by deducting 1% from each future AFDC monthly payment, in accordance with state law, see Minn. Stat. § 256.73, subd. 6 (1986).
Shortly after the conclusion of the state administrative proceedings, respondent intervened in an action already pending in Federal District Court challenging the Department's lump-sum policy on various grounds.*fn6 In her complaint in intervention, App. 14, 20, respondent added an allegation that the Department's implementation of the new lump-sum rule without adequate notice to AFDC applicants and recipients violated the Secretary's regulation. The District Court certified
[ 485 U.S. Page 421]
a class*fn7 and entered summary judgment in its favor on the notice issue. Slaughter v. Levine, 598 F. Supp. 1035, 1049-1052 (Minn. 1984).
The District Court awarded two forms of relief. First, it required the Department to prepare a written notice that adequately explained the lump-sum policy and to distribute it to all current AFDC recipients and all future applicants. Id., at 1055. Second, it ordered the Department to notify all class members who had been injured by the Department's violation that they might apply for corrective payments from their local welfare agencies. Ibid. The court concluded that the Eleventh Amendment prevented it from ordering any repayment of benefits that had been improperly denied, ibid., or from enjoining the Department from recouping overpayments to families like the Jenkinses. Slaughter v. Levine, 621 F. Supp. 509, 513-514 (Minn. 1985). For the purposes of relief, the District Court determined that members of the class who did not expend any portion of their lump-sum payments before they received notice of the current lump-sum policy had not been injured by the Department's violation of the federal notice regulation. Slaughter v. Levine, 598 F. Supp., at 1055.*fn8
[ 485 U.S. Page 422]
A divided panel of the Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court's judgment insofar as it found a violation of the notice regulation and denied monetary relief to members of the class. Slaughter v. Levine, 801 F.2d 288 (CA8 1986) (case below). It concluded, however, that the District Court should have enjoined the Department from recouping any amounts that were treated as "overpayments" under the post-1981 policy if they would have been proper under the pre-1981 lump-sum rule. In explaining its basic holding, the Court of Appeals pointed out that advance notice to lump-sum recipients was necessary to achieve the purposes of the 1981 amendment,*fn9 and that to impose the new rule on a family that assumed that the old rule was still in effect "would be truly Kafkaesque."*fn10 The dissenting judge did not believe
[ 485 U.S. Page 423]
that either the statute or the notice regulation conditioned the implementation of the new rule on advance notice to the small percentage of AFDC beneficiaries affected by it. He construed the regulation as simply requiring "the state to publicize generally in written form, and orally as appropriate, the AFDC program and its availability." Id., at 303 (Fagg, J., dissenting). Because of the significance of the Court of Appeals' holding for States' administration of welfare laws, we granted certiorari, 482 U.S. 926 (1987).
The Secretary's notice regulation, which was first adopted in 1971 and later amended in 1978 and 1979, now provides:
"Applicants shall be informed about the eligibility requirements and their rights and obligations under the program. Under this requirement individuals are given information in written form, and orally as appropriate, about coverage, conditions of eligibility, scope of the program, and related services available, and the rights and responsibilities of applicants for and recipients of assistance. Specifically developed bulletins or pamphlets explaining the rules regarding eligibility and appeals in simple, understandable terms are publicized and available in quantity." 45 CFR § 206.10(a)(2)(i) (1987).
Pursuant to this regulation, the Department has prepared and distributed two brief printed brochures. The first contains four pages and generally describes the AFDC program, the application process, the benefit levels, and the applicant's basic procedural rights. The pamphlet states that the "information in this brochure will help you decide if you wish to apply for AFDC, but it is not intended to cover all program rules. . . . You are urged to contact your welfare office for specific information as to the eligibility rules and limitations for AFDC. Since these can and do change from time to
[ 485 U.S. Page 424]
time, you should inquire with your welfare office for up-to-date information." App. 29.
The second brochure is a six-page booklet entitled "Monthly Reporting: What AFDC Households Must Know"; it explains the recipient's duty to report all of the household income each month. Although some of the intricacies of the AFDC program are explained, it does not comment specifically on the lump-sum rule. In addition to using pamphlets such as these, the Department relies on its caseworkers to provide applicants and recipients with oral advice about the aspects of the program that are relevant to specific situations.
When the 1981 amendment was enacted, the Department did not prepare a new pamphlet. It did, however, on September 18, 1981, send a letter to all AFDC recipients advising them that there had been 19 major changes in the AFDC program. The paragraph commenting on the new lump-sum rule was not a model of clarity,*fn11 but presumably it at least alerted the reader to the existence of the new rule. Since the letter was just mailed to those already receiving AFDC benefits, however, it did not provide any notice to a family that did not apply for benefits until a later date. Such a family might not learn about the operation of the lump-sum rule until it reported the receipt of a payment to a caseworker; if, as was true in the Jenkins' case, the money had already been
[ 485 U.S. Page 425]
spent, it would obviously be too late for the family to budget the use of that money to replace its normal AFDC checks.
The question for us to decide is not whether advance written notice is desirable, or, indeed, whether such notice is necessary to accomplish the purposes of the 1981 statute. The question is whether the pre-existing regulation was intended to forestall the implementation of a congressionally mandated program change until the state agencies provided all AFDC recipients with notice of the change. Although such a rule might well represent sound policy, we do not believe that a fair reading of the text of § 206.10(a)(2)(i) conveys that message.
It is true that the regulation requires that individuals be given "information in written form, and orally as appropriate about . . . conditions of eligibility," but that is hardly how one would write a command stating that every such condition must be identified and explained before it may be enforced. The reference to "information" in both written and oral form "about" various aspects of the program seems to require instead merely a general descriptive statement regarding AFDC benefits. Thus, the plain language of the regulation does not require that information be disseminated regarding every specific change in eligibility requirements.
Indeed, it is doubtful whether the notice requirement even applies to AFDC recipients.*fn12 The notice provision appears
[ 485 U.S. Page 426]
a section that contains various rules regarding "application, determination of eligibility and furnishing of assistance," 45 CFR § 206.10 (1987). The section speaks to how one may apply for benefits, general conditions of eligibility, the time frame within which States must determine eligibility, basic rules about the furnishing of assistance to recipients, and general procedures for redetermining eligibility due to changed circumstances. The regulation in question in this case, § 206.10(a)(2)(i), both on its face and in context of the section as a whole, quite plainly speaks to how general information about the program must be provided to individuals seeking assistance, that is, to program applicants. See 45 CFR § 206.10(b)(1) (1987) (defining "applicant"). The very next provision in the section, in fact, states that "procedures shall be adopted which are designed to assure that recipients make timely and accurate reports of any change in circumstances which may affect their eligibility or the amount of assistance." 45 CFR § 206.10(a)(2)(ii) (1987) (emphasis added). In other words, the drafters of this regulation wrote separately about two types of information that must be communicated: in § 206.10(a)(2)(i) about providing applicants with program information, and in § 206.10(a)(2)(ii) about developing procedures for recipients themselves to provide information about changed circumstances that might affect their benefits. The requirement of § 206.10(a)(2)(i) that information be given to applicants in "written form, and orally as appropriate," seems in fact to require no mailing of information at all, but rather simply explains that printed information about access to AFDC benefits, such as pamphlets, booklets, and flyers, be
[ 485 U.S. Page 427]
available, and that such information may be transmitted orally as well.*fn13
Respondent contends that the notice provision applies to recipients of AFDC benefits as well as applicants. She points to § 206.10(a)(1)(iii) of the same section, which provides that "an applicant may be assisted, if he so desires, by an individual(s) of his choice (who need not be a lawyer) in the various aspects of the application process and the redetermination of eligibility and may be accompanied by such individual(s) in contacts with the agency and when so accompanied may also be represented by them." Since "redetermination of eligibility" involves "a review of factors affecting AFDC eligibility and payment amount," 45 CFR § 206.10(b)(4) (1987), and thus clearly applies to recipients, respondent contends that "applicant" is used in § 206.10(a)(1)(iii) to include recipients as well, and therefore must have the same inclusive meaning throughout § 206.10, including the notice provision.
[ 485 U.S. Page 428]
We are unpersuaded. The term "recipients" is used in various other provisions in the section, and appears simply to have been inadvertently omitted at this juncture. The definition of the term "applicant," understood in the context of eligibility "redetermination," makes this omission apparent. An "applicant" is " a person who has, directly, or through his authorized representative, or where incompetent or incapacitated, through someone acting responsibly for him, made application for public assistance from the agency administering the program, and whose application has not been terminated." 45 CFR § 206.10(b)(1) (1987). Since redetermination of benefits affects only those who have already been "determined to be eligible," 45 CFR § 206.10(a)(9) (1987), and an "applicant," by definition, has not yet been determined to be eligible, it would therefore be impossible for an applicant's case to be redetermined. Thus, it is plain that § 206.10(a)(1)(iii) omitted the word "recipient" when referring to redetermination.*fn14
Thus, a reading of the plain language of the notice provision and other provisions in the same section reveals that
[ 485 U.S. Page 429]
only applicants, and not recipients, are addressed by the requirement that individuals be given information about the program. Further, even as to applicants, the notice provision requires only that general program information be available, in "written form" and "orally as appropriate."*fn15
The Secretary, who is responsible for enforcing the regulation, does not agree with the strict interpretation adopted by the District Court. Rather, he believes that it is generally appropriate to rely on an oral explanation of the consequences of receiving a lump-sum payment when the recipient reports it to the family's caseworker.*fn16 We recognize that
[ 485 U.S. Page 430]
the Secretary had not taken a position on this question until this litigation. However, when it is the Secretary's regulation that we are construing, and when there is no claim in this Court that the regulation violates any constitutional or statutory mandate, we are properly hesitant to substitute an alternative reading for the Secretary's unless that alternative reading is compelled by the regulation's plain language or by other indications of the Secretary's intent at the time of the regulation's promulgation.
Finally, respondent's emphasis on the harsh result in this particular case*fn17 is actually, in large part, a criticism of the lump-sum rule itself. The record indicates that even if respondent had known about the rule, she would have been hard pressed not to use most of the $5,752 payment to avoid a foreclosure of the mortgage on the family home and to make promised payments to other creditors. Further, even though the rule, combined with the absence of advance notice, may have produced a "Kafkaesque" result for the Jenkins family, it is not irrational to assume that most needy families will realize that the receipt of a large lump sum may affect their future eligibility for benefits, and that it would be prudent to inform their caseworkers of the development before spending the money. Moreover, the harshness of the result is somewhat mitigated by the fact that the family's benefits continued during the administrative appeal and that the recoupment process only subtracts 1% of each monthly AFDC check, and the further fact that if AFDC benefits are actually terminated, a family may be immediately eligible for another form of public assistance, albeit a less generous one. In all events,
[ 485 U.S. Page 432]
since the regulation was written long before the lump-sum rule was enacted, it clearly was not designed to forestall the harsh consequences suffered by the Jenkinses.
In the final analysis, our decision rests on our agreement with the Secretary and the dissenting judge in the Court of Appeals that the regulation simply requires the State to publish a general description of the basic structure of the AFDC program and its availability. We would require a much more precise mandate to the States to permit courts to interfere with the workings of governmental benefits programs by ordering the taking of certain affirmative steps.*fn18
The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
It is so ordered.
JUSTICE KENNEDY took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.
801 F.2d 288, reversed.
JUSTICE O'CONNOR, with whom JUSTICE BRENNAN joins, and with whom JUSTICE MARSHALL joins as to the last paragraph, concurring in the judgment in part and dissenting in part.
The Court's approach to this case is summarized in its statement that "when it is the Secretary's regulation that we are construing, and when there is no claim in this Court that the regulation violates any constitutional or statutory mandate, we are properly hesitant to substitute an alternative reading for the Secretary's unless that alternative reading is compelled by the regulation's plain language or by other indications of the Secretary's intent at the time of the regulation's promulgation." Ante, at 430. I agree with this proposition, but I disagree with the Court's application of it here. In the course of this litigation, the Secretary took what I believe
[ 485 U.S. Page 433]
are two inconsistent positions. Because I regard the Secretary's later position as far less reasonable than his earlier position, I would hold him to his earlier and better interpretation.
In November 1982, respondent Kathryn Jenkins applied for AFDC benefits. Mrs. Jenkins' husband is disabled, they have five minor children, and the family was found eligible for benefits. In October 1983, Mr. Jenkins received a retro-active Social Security disability payment. The family immediately used the bulk of this lump-sum payment to pay their overdue bills. Under the provisions of a federal statute adopted in 1981, using the lump-sum payment in this way rendered the family ineligible for any AFDC benefits during the next several months. Mrs. Jenkins promptly reported receipt of the lump sum, and its expenditure, to her caseworker. The caseworker informed her of the ineligibility rule, and a written notice followed the next day. Mrs. Jenkins took an administrative appeal of the decision to suspend her benefits, and monthly payments continued while the appeal was pending. The Minnesota Department of Human Services (the Department) ultimately upheld the ineligibility determination and ordered recoupment of payments the Jenkins family had received during the appeal process.
The federal regulation at issue in this case provides that applicants for AFDC benefits "shall be informed about the eligibility requirements and their rights and obligations under the program." 45 CFR § 206.10(a)(2)(i) (1987). The regulation goes on to specify that applicants are to be given information, "in written form, and orally as appropriate," about certain aspects of the program, including "the rights and responsibilities of applicants for and recipients of assistance." Ibid. A natural reading of this language suggests that applicants should be provided with information sufficient to enable them to exercise their rights and fulfill their responsibilities under the program. Thus, at the very least, the regulation suggests that applicants should be given enough written information
[ 485 U.S. Page 434]
to warn them of the circumstances under which they should seek further oral explanations of the program's operation and requirements. A reasonable person would be unlikely to suspect that a lump-sum payment should not be used to pay off the family's outstanding debts. For that reason, the Department's failure to notify applicants for AFDC benefits of the new rule was sure to affect some persons in a manner that the Court of Appeals called "truly Kafkaesque." Slaughter v. Levine, 801 F.2d 288, 296 (CA8 1986) (opinion below).
The Secretary contends that the notice regulation at issue does not require any warning about the effects of the lump-sum rule until after an AFDC recipient reports receipt of a lump sum to the appropriate state agency. By that time, as the incident with the Jenkins family suggests, it may well be too late for warnings to be of any use. As the Court emphasizes, however, the language of the regulation is so general that one could hardly conclude that the Secretary's interpretation is strictly incompatible with that language. Thus, if all we had before us was the regulation itself and the Secretary's interpretation of it, I might have to agree that we should defer to the Secretary's construction of his own regulation. In answer to an interrogatory filed in this very case, however, the Secretary took a different position than the one he now maintains:
"Federal regulations at 45 CFR § 206.10(a)(2)(i) and (ii) require a State agency to inform AFDC applicants and recipients about eligibility requirements and their rights and obligations under the AFDC Program. Under these requirements, States are fully expected to establish policies to ensure that individuals are provided information in written form, and orally as appropriate, about coverage, conditions of eligibility, scope of the program and related services available. This would include generally advising applicants and recipients of their obligation to report receipt of lump sum income, the operation
[ 485 U.S. Page 435]
of the lump sum rule, and the effect on eligibility for assistance." App. 89 (emphasis added).*fn*
Unlike the majority, see ante, at 429-430, n. 16, I cannot reconcile the highlighted sentence with the Secretary's current position. I read that sentence to imply that individuals who may be affected by the lump-sum rule should be given enough information, in advance, to warn them against using lump-sum income in the normal way, viz. to pay one's outstanding debts. That is a far more reasonable position than the one the Secretary later adopted, and I would hold him to his earlier and better interpretation. Cf. Bowen v. American Hospital Assn., 476 U.S. 610, 646, n. 34 (1986) (plurality opinion): "The fact that the agency's interpretation 'has been neither consistent nor longstanding . . . substantially diminishes the deference to be given to [the agency's] present interpretation of the statute.' Southeastern Community College v. Davis, 442 U.S. [397,] 412, n. 11  (citing General Electric Co. v. Gilbert, 429 U.S. 125, 143 (1976))." Accordingly, I would affirm the Court of Appeals to the extent that it found a violation of the federal notice regulation.
The relief granted in this case, however, was too broad. The District Court ordered the Department "to forthwith
[ 485 U.S. Page 436]
prepare a notice explaining the lump sum policy." Slaughter v. Levine, 598 F. Supp. 1035, 1055 (Minn. 1984). Not only was this notice to be provided to all applicants, it was also to be mailed to all current AFDC recipients and provided again to all recipients each six months. Ibid. The District Court also specified that the notice "should provide a thorough explanation of the mechanics of the [lump-sum] rule." Ibid.
The Secretary has never suggested an interpretation of the notice regulation that would justify such elaborate procedures. First, although I believe that the Secretary did conclude that affected persons should be notified of the lump-sum rule, he never suggested that repeated notifications were called for. The Department in fact mailed a letter about the new rule to all then-current AFDC recipients shortly before the rule went into effect. That letter was sufficient notice to the individuals who received it. Furthermore, the Secretary answered an interrogatory in this case with the following statement:
"A State has considerable latitude in the development of procedures it shall adopt to ensure effective administration of the AFDC program. Provisions at 45 CFR § 206.10 (a)(2)(i) do not require a State to publicize the lump sum rule or any other eligibility requirements in specifically developed pamphlets or bulletins." App. 90-91.
Reading this statement in light of the regulation and the other answer quoted above, I conclude that the Secretary interpreted his regulation to require, as to future applicants, only that the Department add a general statement about the new lump-sum rule to its informational materials as soon as reasonably practicable. Because the Department failed to advise applicants about the lump-sum rule for several years after it came into effect, the District Court could also have required the Department to cure that error by informing the affected recipients about the rule. To the extent that the
[ 485 U.S. Page 437]
District Court required the Department to go further, however, by giving repeated written notice and by distributing "specifically developed pamphlets or bulletins," that court unduly infringed the discretion that the regulation was intended to leave in the responsible state agencies.
The District Court was also mistaken in ordering the Department to provide, in writing, a "thorough explanation of the mechanics" of the lump-sum rule. The Secretary quite reasonably argues that such a requirement could easily prove counterproductive because of the complexity of the mechanics involved. Indeed, the detailed explanation given in the Department's letter of September 1981, quoted ante, at 424, n. 11, which might not be immediately intelligible even to a trained lawyer, suggests that oral explanations of the rule's operation would be the best way to provide effective notice. Had the Department taken reasonable steps to inform all AFDC applicants of the need to seek an oral explanation at the appropriate time, the purpose of the regulation would have been satisfied. In my view, a simple statement like the following would suffice: "Anytime you receive a lump-sum payment (such as an inheritance, a Social Security back payment, an insurance settlement, a gift, etc.) you should inform your caseworker before you spend the money or use it to pay off your debts."
The Court of Appeals also concluded that the Department could be enjoined from recouping the payments that were made to respondent Jenkins during the period that her family was ineligible under the provisions of the new lump-sum rule. The court reasoned that, "by failing to comply with the notice regulation, [the Department] failed to institute a legal change in its eligibility rules." 801 F.2d, at 301-302. This conclusion was clearly inconsistent with federal law. In adopting the new lump-sum rule, Congress provided that it "shall become effective on October 1, 1981," or that if conforming changes in state law were necessary, then it "will become effective" as of the first month after the first state legislative
[ 485 U.S. Page 438]
session ending on or after October 1, 1981. Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, Pub. L. 97-35, § 2321, 95 Stat. 859-860. For Minnesota, the result was an effective date of February 1, 1982. See 801 F.2d, at 303 (dissenting opinion below). Congress gave no indication whatsoever that the effective date for the new lump-sum rule could be delayed by the action or inaction of state agencies. Whether or not Jenkins received notice in accord with the Secretary's regulation, therefore, the lump-sum rule applied to her when her husband received the retroactive disability payment in 1983. The Department was accordingly required by federal law to recoup the overpayments that she received during her appeal of the Department's decision to apply the new lump-sum rule in her case. See 42 U. S. C. § 602(a)(22) (1982 ed., Supp. III); 45 CFR § 233.20 (a)(13)(i) (1987).
In sum, my disagreement with the Court's decision is relatively narrow. I would hold that the federal notice regulation, as interpreted by the Secretary, requires the Department to give applicants for AFDC benefits written notice at least of the existence of the lump-sum rule and of the need for recipients to consult with a social worker before spending any lump sum they might receive. I therefore think that the District Court could properly have ordered the Department to take reasonable steps to include this information in its standard bulletins or pamphlets, and to take reasonable steps to provide the same information to AFDC recipients who were improperly deprived of this information when they applied for benefits. To the extent that the Court of Appeals approved additional relief in this case, I agree that its judgment must be reversed.
* A brief of amici curiae urging reversal was filed for the State of Alabama et al. by Warren Price III, Attorney General of Hawaii, Thomas D. Farrell, Deputy Attorney General, Don Siegelman, Attorney General of Alabama, Steve Clark, Attorney General of Arkansas, Duane Woodard, Attorney General of Colorado, Joseph I. Lieberman, Attorney General of Connecticut, John S. Miller, Michael J. Bowers, Attorney General of Georgia, James T. Jones, Attorney General of Idaho, Neil F. Hartigan, Attorney General of Illinois, Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General of Iowa, Robert T. Stephan, Attorney General of Kansas, David L. Armstrong, Attorney General of Kentucky, William J. Guste, Jr., Attorney General of Louisiana, James E. Tierney, Attorney General of Maine, J. Joseph Curran, Jr., Attorney General of Maryland, Frank J. Kelley, Attorney General of Michigan, Brian McKay, Attorney General of Nevada, Lacy H. Thornburg, Attorney General of North Carolina, Nicholas Spaeth, Attorney General of North Dakota, Anthony J. Celebrezze, Jr., Attorney General of Ohio, Dave Frohnmayer, Attorney General of Oregon, T. Travis Medlock, Attorney General of South Carolina, Roger A. Tellinghuisen, Attorney General of South Dakota, David L. Wilkinson, Attorney General of Utah, Jeffrey Amestoy, Attorney General of Vermont, Mary Sue Terry, Attorney General of Virginia, Donald J. Hanaway, Attorney General of Wisconsin, and Joseph B. Meyer, Attorney General of Wyoming.
Evelyn R. Frank filed a brief for the Economic Rights Task Force, National Lawyers Guild, as amicus curiae urging affirmance.