Speech of Rita Eppler at Judges’ Training Conference
AALJ was asked to participate in the Administrative Law Judges training conducted by SSA in Baltimore during July and August 2014. Judge Rita Eppler the AALJ National Grievance Chair spoke concerning judicial independence and the Administrative Procedure Act to the judges attending the July session. Her remarks received a standing ovation from the judges attending. However SSA management disagreed with the content of her speech, and refused to allow Judge Eppler to again present the speech at the August judge’s training unless it was changed to eliminate criticism of management and other concerns. Judge Eppler refused to modify her speech, and she was stricken from the agenda.
Because SSA refused to permit this speech to be given at the August meeting, and because it addresses important concerns about the current Social Security Administration preserving due process for the American public, AALJ is making Judge Eppler’s speech available to everyone. Anyone may download a copy of this speech and use it. A hearing before an unbiased judge is a Constitutionally protected right of everyone who applies for Social Security Benefits. Why does SSA desire to limit the ability of its Administrative Law Judges to fairly decide cases?