Rosano Against The United States

This is the official reported decision by the United States Claims Court in Washington, D.C. which can be found in any law library. The pertinent portions relating specifically to the group health insurance issue is on pages 143 and 144. Nevetheless, I supplied the entire decisions in this blog for your interest, and to know my motivation, and as a stepping stone to illegalize both abortion and contraception, which can be raised at any time, contrary to the court, below:

Friday, August 17, 2007

Rosano v. United States,
9 Cl.Ct. 137 (1985)
(Cite as: 9 Cl.Ct. 137)

United States Claims Court.
Lawrence R. Rosano, Plaintiff,
The UNITED STATES, Defendant.
No. 200-85C.


November 6, 1985.

Terminated probationary federal employee brought suit for back pay, reinstatement, refund of part of his health insurance payments paid during his employment, which went to pay for abortion-, contraception-, and sterilization-, coverage, and an incentive award. On motion of the federal government for summary judgment, the Claims Court, Philip R. Miller, J., held that: (1) jurisdiction over employee’s claim that his termination was product of religious discrimination lay exclusively in federal district court; (2) provision of Health Benefits Act governing jurisdiction of courts did not confer jurisdiction to award money judgment of any claim which was not otherwise provided for by the Act; and (3) no contract to pay employee a cash award could be implied from Government’s rejection of employee’s suggestion that abortion and contraception coverage be deleted from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
Motion allowed, and complaint dismissed.
*139 Lawrence R. Rosano, pro se plaintiff.
George M Beasley, III, Washington, D.C. with whom was Acting Assist. Atty. Gen. Richard K. Willard, Washington, D.C., for defendant. David M. Cohen, Director, Washington, D.C., of counsel.
This is a suit brought by a terminated probationary civilian employee of the United States Navy for back pay, reinstatement, refund of that part of his health insurance premiums paid during his employment, and an incentive award. The government has moved for summary judgment, arguing the court lacks jurisdiction to award judgment on such claims, and that, in any event, the back pay and reinstatement claims are barred as res judicata by prior decisions adverse to plaintiff.


In November 1979, the Department of the Navy, Marine Corps, appointed plaintiff, a civilian, as a GS-11 engineer at Camp Pendleton. Plaintiff was a career conditional appointee, and was subject to a one-year probationary period. During his first days on the job, plaintiff was offered the opportunity, like all federal employees, to join the Federal Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FHP). The program lets federal employees choose a health insurance plan from among a group of plans preselected by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Under the FHP, the employee contributes a portion of the premium, and the government pays the remainder.
Plaintiff discovered that all the available plans included coverage for abortion and contraception. Opposed to these procedures on religious grounds, plaintiff requested a plan that did not provide such coverage. None being available, he asked either to have his premium prorated to exclude that portion which pays for the objectionable coverage or to have the government contribute its share to the premium cost of private insurance coverage. Plaintiff was informed that the FHP makes no provision for reduced premiums or contribution to insurance plans outside the FHP. He was told he could only choose a plan as provided or forgo coverage and the government contribution. Plaintiff complained that this choice - accept a plan that "funded" abortion or be denied health insurance - violated his first amendment rights. However, desiring health insurance benefits, he nevertheless enrolled in the Blue Cross-Blue Shield plan.
Plaintiff consulted with a Marine Corps Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) counselor regarding his allegations of religious discrimination. The EEO counselor informed plaintiff that he could pursue an EEO complaint or he could file a complaint on his own with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). He was advised to choose the MSPB route because the Navy EEO office at Camp Pendleton had no authority to change the FHP.
*140 Plaintiff submitted his complaint to the Special Counsel of the MSPB, which informed him on April 7, 1980 that it was not authorized to pursue his complaint because there was no indication that any personnel practice or other activity prohibited by the Civil Service provisions had occurred.
After April 7, plaintiff concedes that he continually spent most of his official work time preparing a new complaint and responding to the Special Counsel's letter, and that his supervisors warned him that the time he was devoting to his complaint was excessive.
Plaintiff's petition reveals that despite these, and subsequent admonitions, after April 10 he continued to pursue his complaint substantially to the exclusion of his engineering duties. On May 20, his immediate supervisor recommended he be terminated during his probationary period. The primary reason given was plaintiff's inability to complete research projects within reasonable time; numerous instances of plaintiff taking more than two to three times the time estimated to be necessary were noted. Additionally, his supervisor stated that plaintiff's engineering knowledge and experience were proving inadequate, and that plaintiff was unable to schedule his time or judge the degree of complexity required. On May 23, 1980 plaintiff was notified in writing that he was terminated effective on May 30.
Plaintiff filed an informal EEO complaint with the Marine Corps EEO office at Camp Pendleton. After interviewing plaintiff, his supervisors and co-workers, the EEO counselor concluded that there was no evidence of religious discrimination. A formal EEO investigation subsequently concluded that there was no discrimination and "[t]he complainant was removed solely because he was deficient in the performance of his assigned duties as a civil engineer."
Plaintiff also had appealed his termination and his constitutional complaint about the FHP to the MSPB. The MSPB held it was without jurisdiction to review the termination of a probationary employee for religious discrimination, and did not address the constitutional issue. Its order was upheld by the full Board on December 12, 1980. Rosano v. Department of the Navy, 4 M.S.P.B. 516, 4 M.S.P.R. 566 (1980). [COMMENT: This is an outright lie, namely, i.e., that the "full" Board did so, precisely, because I supplied to the U. S. Claims Court a work sheet, taken from the records in Washington, D.C., that demonstrated to the court that indeed only two of the three Board members were present, and one of the two present referred to an amendment found no where in the record, added.]
Plaintiff appealed the Board's decision to the United States Court of Claims, which upheld the termination decision but remanded for the MSPB to consider his additional constitutional claim for award of a sum equal to the value of the government's contribution to his health insurance premiums during a period of his employment. Rosano v. United States Marine Corps, 299 Ct.Cl. 780 (1982) (Rosano I). On remand, the Board held is lacked jurisdiction to consider plaintiff's objections to the health plans selected under OPM's discretionary authority to contract with qualified carriers of group health insurance plans. Rosano v. United States Marine Corps, 10 M.S.P.B. 67, 11 M.S.P.R. 79 (1982). That decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Roasno v. Department of the Navy, 699 F.2d 1315 (Fed.Cir. 1983) (Rosano II). Plaintiff than instituted suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, under 42 U.S.C. section 2000e-16, the provision of the Civil Rights Act protecting government employees from employment discrimination. He contested his separation from federal employment and alleged religious discrimination and failure of the government to accommodate reasonably his religious beliefs. [COMMENT: My objection to paying for abortion and contraception is not just my belief, but doing so violates my religion "in practice" as well, added] He sought back pay, reinstatement to his position, damages, costs and attorney's fees, and a finding that, as abortion is murder, his actions to prevent its "funding" were justified. The District Court granted the government's motion for summary judgment without opinion. Rosano v. Secretary of the Navy, Civ.N. 82-0987-JLI(H) (S.D.Calif.1983). The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the judgment in an unpublished opinion, holding that plaintiff's termination as a probationary employee was not due to religious discrimination because Rosano conceded that he devoted his work time *141 almost exclusively to his abortion concerns, that he spent more than the estimated time on his assigned projects, and that his supervisors had warned him about his lack of output. The Court stated that any inference that plaintiff had been terminated because of unlawful religious discrimination was negated by the absence of any material issue of fact concerning Rosano's lack of satisfactory job performance prior to the termination of his employment, and that an employer's obligation to make reasonable accommodations to an employee's religious beliefs [COMMENT: My objection does not rest only on my religious "beliefs", but rather and more importantly on my religious "practice", as well, the difference between these two of which is obvious, added] does not include an obligation to pay him full salary when the employee spends the majority of his time on matters other than his work assignments. Rosano v. Secretary of the Navy, 735 F.2d 1372 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ____, 105 S.Ct. 181, 83 L.Ed.2d 115 (1984) (Rosano III).
In his 185 page complaint, consisting of 702 paragraphs and 36 prayers for relief, plaintiff continues to seek back pay and reinstatement (at a higher grade and new location). He further asks for a refund of that part of his insurance premiums that went to "fund" abortion, and for payment to him of an award he claims is his due for his suggestion that the United States Government would save millions of dollars by deleting abortion and contraception coverage from its employee health benefits program (emphasis, added). He again asks for costs and attorney's fees, and damages (including free federal health insurance indefinitely). He also asks the court for declaratory relief on several points, including: that the First Amendment prohibits governmental funding of abortion in the group health insurance program for federal employees; that abortion is murder; that his termination violated the free exercise, free speech and establishment clauses of the First Amendment; that the government violated his right to follow the Code of Ethics; that contraception is constructive murder; that busing is unconstitutional; that abortion and contraception are religious practices which the government may not fund; that pornography is unconstitutional; that prostitution is unconstitutional; that school prayer is constitutional; that tax-exempt status for clinics providing abortion and contraception services is unconstitutional;
that homosexuality is unconstitutional; that euthanasia is unconstitutional.


[1] The Claims Court historically has no general jurisdiction to issue declaratory judgments. United States v. King, 395 U.S. 1, 89 S.Ct. 1501, 23 L.Ed.2d 52 (1969). Two express statutory exceptions, 28 U.S.C. section 1491(a)(3) (declaratory judgment authorized to afford complete relief on a contract claim) and 28 U.S.C. section 1507 (declaratory judgement authorized regarding Internal Revenue Code Section 7428), obviously do not apply. Therefore, plaintiff's only claims which are arguably within the Tucker Act are those wherein plaintiff seeks money: the back pay claim for wrongful termination, the premium refund claim, and the bonus award claim.

[2] For this court to have jurisdiction to render judgment in favor of plaintiff upon any of his claims, such claim would have to assert that the federal government took money or property from him in contravention of the Constitution, a statute or a regulation, or, alternatively, the claim would have to be founded upon some provision of the Constitution, federal statutes or regulations of an executive department that confers on a claimant, expressly or by fair interpretation, a substantive right to recover money from the United States. 28 U.S.C. Section 1491; and United States v. Mitchell, 463 U.S. 206, 103 S.Ct. 2961, 77 L.Ed.2d 580 (1983); United States v. Testan, 424 U.S.392, 96 S.Ct. 948, 47 L.Ed.2d 114 (1975); Eastport Steamship Corp. v. United States, 178 Ct.Cl. 599, 372 F.2d 1002 (1967).

A. The Back Pay Claim for Wrongful Termination

[3,4] Plaintiff argues that his termination was improper because it was the product of religious discrimination. However, as already noted, that issue has al- *142 ready been decided adversely to plaintiff. In Rosano I the Court of Claims and in Rosano III the district court and the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided that plaintiff had been terminated for cause and not because of religious discrimination. Plaintiff had full and fair opportunities to litigate this issue and is now time barred by the law of collateral estoppel and res judicata from relitigating them anew merely because another forum is available. Commissioner v. Sunnen, 333 U.S. 591, 68 S.Ct. 715, 92 L.Ed.2d 898 (1948); Blonder-Tongue v. University of Illinois Foundation, 402 U.S. 313, 91 S.Ct. 1434, 28 L.Ed.2d 788 (1971). In his complaint plaintiff asks that Rosano III "be reexamined and overruled." But this court does not have jurisdiction to review the decisions of other courts. City Development Co. v. United States, 220 Ct.Cl. 730, 618 F.2d 122 (1979).

[5] Apart from the bars of collateral estoppel and res judicata, plaintiff's claim for improper termination from employment because of religious discrimination must be dismissed because jurisdiction of such a suit lies exclusively in a United States district court. Section 717 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as added by section 11 of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, 42 U.S.C. section 2000e-16(c) and 2000e-5(f)(3), and Brown v. GSA, 425 U.S. 820, 96 S.Ct. 1961, 48 L.Ed.2d 402 (1976). And see also McGee v. United States, 5 Ct.Cl. 480, 481 n. 1 (1984); Fernandez v. United States, 227 Ct.Cl. 601 (1981); and Allison v. United States, 211 Ct.Cl. 332, 546 F.2d 430 (1976).

[6] Finally plaintiff's claim to back pay must be dismissed, because, since the effective date of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, Publ.L. 95-454, 92 Stat. 1135 (5 U.S.C. section 7511 et seq.) (CSRA), this court has had no jurisdicition of claims for redress of adverse actions against probationary employees. United States v. Connolly, 716 F.2d 882, 886-88 (Fed.Cir.1983), cert, denied 465 U.S. 1065, 104 S.Ct. 1414, 79 L.Ed.2d 740 (1984). And see also U.S. Dept. of Justice v. Federal Labor Rel. Auth., 709 F.2d 724, 728 (D.C.Cir.1983).

The Senate committee report on the Civil Service Reform Act states (S.Rep. No. 969, 95th Cong., 2d Sess. 45 (1978), reprinted in 1978 U.S.Code & Congr.Ad.News 2723, 2767):

The probationary or trial period * * * is an extension of the examining process to determine an employee's ability to perform the duties of the position. It is inappropriate to restrict an agency's authority to separate an employee who does not perform acceptably during this period. The court in Connolly concluded therefore that (716 F.2d at 886):

the legislative history of the Reform Act entirely forecloses the possibility that probationary employees have some sort of unspecified private right of action in the Claims Court under the Act to seek judicial revew of their removal. * * * * * * * Because Congress could have permitted probatioiners to challenge removals, but expressly declined to do so, we find it incongruous to suppose that appellee has implied private right of action under the Civil Service Reform Act to seek judicial review of his dismissal.

[7] As for plaintiff's contention that the assertion of a claim of violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution confers the required substantive jurisdiction on this court, it suffices to say that violation of the First Amendment does not state a claim within the jurisdiction of the Claims Court, as "except for the taking clause of the fifth amendment the other amendments do not require the United States to pay money for their alleged violation." Elkins v. United States, 229 Ct.Cl. 607, 608 (1981), and see also cases cited therein. Accord United States v. Connolly, 716 F.2d, at 887-88.

In support of his contention that the Claims Court has jurisdiction of his claim, plaitiff cites Kennedy v. United States, 5 Cl.Ct. 792 (1984). Kennedy in tun relies on the decisions in Jackson v. United States, 192 Ct.Cl. 765, 428 F.2d 844 (1970) and Swaaley v. United States, 180 Ct.Cl. 1, *143 376 F.2d 957 (1967), wherein the Court of Claims entertained suits in which probationary employes claimed that they were dismissed in retaliation for their exercise of free speech. The Claims Court, in Kennedy, finding that Connolly had not overturned either Jackson or Swaaley, concluded that the Claims Court still has jurisdiciton over constitutional claims where the probationers has no other available judicial recourose or review.

[8] The court declined to apply the rationale of Kennedy here, because plaintiff had available other judicial recourse, which in fact he utilized. See Rosano III. In addition, the Court of Claims has held that the unavailability of another judicial forum is irrelelvant to the jurisdictional inquiry. Featheringill v. United States, 217 Ct.Cl. 24, 32 (1978). See footnote #1 [FOOTNOTE #1 is as follows:: The United States Claims Court must accept decisions of the United States Court of Claims as binding precedents unless and until modified by decisions of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit or the United States Supreme Court (emohasis, added). United States Claims Court General Oreder No. 1, October 7, 1982, 1 Cl.Ct. XXI; South Corp. v. United States, 690 F.2d 1368 (Fed.Cir.1982).]

This Court also believes that Kennedy is in conflict with the understanding of the Federal Circuit in Connolly as to the jurisdictional basis of Jackson and Swaaley. The circuit court expressly determined that jurisdiction in Jackson and Swaaley was based not at all on the fact that those claims were of constitutinal dimension, but rather on the statutory entitlement to pay afforded by the basic pay statute. Connolloy, 716 F.2d at 888. Once jurisdiction was obtained, the court could also consider the constitutinal claims [emphasis, added]. Jackson (1970) and Swaaley (1967) pre-date the effective date of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, by which, the circuit court concluded, Congress effectively removed the pay statute as an independent ground for jurisdiction when it purposefully eliminated any review of probationary employee dismissals. Id., at 887. If the basic pay statute, on which the Court of Claims relied, still conferred jurisdiction, federal employees could maintain suit here without regard to the comprehensive system of review set out by Congress. That result would be plainly inconsistent with the decision in Connolly. For that reason, this court concludes that Jackson and Swaaley no longer support Claims Court jurisdiction; by the intervening statute, Congress has negated their current application.

B. Refund of Insurance Premium

[9] Since plaintiff chose to pay his health insurance premiums voluntarily and the federal government acted only as a conduit for turning over the premiums to the carrier, the substantial jurisdiction of the court to award plaintiff a money judgment against the government cannot be based upon the government having taken plaintiff’s money in contravention of the Constitution, a statute or a regulation. Thus plaintiff must find some provision of the Constitution, or a statute or regulation which confers upon him a right to compensation or damages.
Plaintiff’s claim that the inclusion of coverage of abortion risks in his health insurance premiums violates his First Amendment rights does not confer upon him a substantive right to compensation from the federal government, for, as previously noted, the First Amendment does not, expressly or impliedly, provide for payment of money damages and cannot of itself provide plaintiff with a cause of action for money damages absent some other jurisdictional basis. Elkins v. United States, supra; and United States v. Connolly, supra.
[10] Nor is Mr. Rosano’s claim founded on the Health Benefits Act, 5 U.S.C. sections 8901-13, for it is not brought to enforce a specific right or obligation under that Act. No provision of such Act provides expressly for payment of compensation to a federal employee for unwanted coverage in health insurance premiums voluntarily paid, and it may not reasonably by concluded that it is implied. A decision illustrative *144 of that principle is National Treasury Emp. Union v. Campbell, 589 F.2d 669 (D.C.Cir. 1978). There the court held that in the Health Benefits Act Congress had consented to suit to review the conduct of the Civil Service Commission in failing to discharge its statutory duty to negotiate reasonable rates reflecting the cost of the benefits provided. But with respect to a concurrent claim for money damages the court stated that ‘nothing in our jurisdiction or reviewability holdings in any way leads to or even supports the conclusion that damages either were actually contemplated by Congress or flow logically from the structure or content of the statutory scheme. * * * That Congress has consented to suit, in short, does not mean that it has validated every conceivable cause of action and claim for relief which counsel can construct.’ Id. At 679.
Plaintiff contends that jurisdiction over this claim is conferred upon the Claims Court by 5 U.S.C. section 8912, which provides:
Section 8912. Jurisdiction of courts
The district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction, concurrent with the United States Claims Court, of a civil action or claim against the United States founded on [chapter 89-Health Insurance].
[11] However, while this section confers jurisdiction over the parties, it does not confer jurisdiction to award a money judgment on any claim which is not otherwise provided for by the Health Benefits Act. Section 8912 of Title 5 is identical to 5 U.S.C. section 8715, which pertains to Federal Employees Group Life Insurance. In Walker v. United States, 161 Ct.Cl.. 792, 798-99 (1963),the court held that section 8715 does not add to the court’s existing Tucker Act jurisdiction pursuant to28 U.S.C. section 1491, but was enacted merely to enable making the United States a party to a court action in a district court, which would otherwise have been barred by the $10,000 limitation on suits against the United States in such court. 28 U.S.C. section 1346(b). Accordingly, the court held Tucker Act claim for insurance benefits not expressly or impliedly provided for by the Life Insurance Act is beyond the court’s jurisdiction despite section o8715. Accord Robinson v. United States, 8 Cl.Ct. 343 (1985). In Robinson, this court held that a plaintiff relying upon section 8715 must establish a ‘claim for which recovery upon section 8715 must establish a ‘claim for which recovery of money damages is authorized by the Life Insurance Act. Id.’ Id. At 345.
The Health Benefits Act (1959) followed the Life Insurance Act (1954) by about 5 years. The jurisdictional sections of the two Acts are identical, and the legislative history of the later Act is silent on the intention of Congress in adopting the identical language of the Life Insurance Act. See 1959 U.S.Code Cong. & Ad.News, 86th Congr., 1st Sess., p. 2913, et seq.. Presumably, therefore, Congress had the same intent in using such language in 5 U.S.C. section 8912 as it did in enacting the predecessor section 8715, i.e., merely to expand the district court’s jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. section 1346(b) to allow making the United States a party defendant to a suit.
[12] Nor can any right to compensation under these circumstances be determined from the regulations governing the FHB [as an abbrev. “Federal Employees’ Health Insurance Benefits Policy, added], Section 890 of 5 C.F.R. deals with eligibility for enrollment and actions ‘reviewing a claim denied by a plan." There is no "fair interpretation" that an employee can sue for money, absent a denial of enrollment or benefits under a plan, merely because he objects to the plans in the program. [Emphasis, added]”

C. Suggestion Award.

Plaintiff seeks an amount equal to what the government would have saved had it adopted his suggestion that abortion and contraception coverage be deleted from the FHP.

The governing statute provides that the head of any agency "may pay a cash award to * * * an employee who (1) by his suggestion * * * contributes to the efficiency, economy or other improvement of Government operations * * *." 5 U.S.C. section 4503. The determination whether or not to make an award rests with the head of the agen- *145 cy, as does the amount to be paid. Id. Section 4502.

[13] The decision is thereby wholly discretionary for suggestions accepted, and lacks the "money mandating" provision required for Tucker Act jurisdiction. See Adair v. United States, 227 Ct.VCl. 345, 648 F.2d 1318 (1981) (court lacks jurdiction over claim grounded on incentive pay statute that is discretionary in nature). Accord Uraga v. United States, 4 Cl.Ct. 106 (1983). [14] Because plaintiff's suggestion was not accepted, there is also no basis on which to claim an award was due on the theory of an implied contract. Griffin v. United States, 215 Ct.Cl. 710 (1978), in which the Court of Claim exercised jurisdiction over an incentive award on a theory of implied-in-fact contract because the Air Force had accepted and implemented the suggestion and made an award (although in a lesser sum than that sought), is inappropriate here. No contract can be implied where the government rejected the suggestion. See McGee v. United States, 5 Cl.Ct., at 482 (1984).


For the foregoing reasons, defendant's motion for summary judgment is allowed. The clerk is directed to dismiss the complaint, with costs to be allowed to defendant. (end)

About Me

I am a non-lawyer, turned legal researcher to vindicate my termination due to religious discrimination by the Federal Government because I opposed the Federal Employees' Group Health Insurance Program [FHP](i.e., GHI for Federal Employees) including coverage for abortion, contraception and sterilization. Fired on a pretext after only 7 months employed but really for 7 weeks of insubordination due to this FHP issue, all Courts left me in a catch 22 realizing that this issue is a hot potato! When Prolife attorneys told me that I must wait until the law changed, frustrated I represented myself to find out the basis in "the law" that permitted the government or any employer to coerce me to violate my religion in practice or else be punished for not doing so by a denial altogether of all offered FHP benefits not offensive to my religion. So to the contrary of Prolife attorneys, as I point out in my book, I not only uncovered how to reverse the decline in religious freedom for the past 46 years, thereby resolving my FHP issue mentined above, but also learned how to legally justify my Prolife Tax Strike, not only for myself, but for any courageous Prolifer after reading my book!