Friday, November 8, 2013
Courtney Hannon, (University of Maryland School of Law) recently published an article entitled, Astrue v. Capato: Forcing a Shoe That Doesn't Fit , 16 J. Health Care L.& Pol'y403 (2013). Provided below is the introduction:
Courts are increasingly encountering dilemmas caused when they must interpret and apply older laws to matters that have been significantly impacted by technological advances unimaginable to the lawmakers who wrote the controlling statutes.1 In Astrue v. Capato ex. rel. B.N.C., et al,.2 the Supreme Court considered whether a posthumously conceived child qualifies as a ―child‖ for the purpose of receiving survivors‘ benefits under the Social Security Act.3 The Act was originally passed in 1935, primarily as a retirement program.4 In 1939, it was amended significantly to provide the spouse and dependents of a worker with payments after the worker retired, and with survivors‘ benefits after the worker died.5 Posthumously conceived children were not a possibility contemplated by the legislators who enacted the law in its original and amended forms.