United States Supreme Court
540 U.S. 20 (2003)
Pauline Thomas (plaintiff) was employed as an elevator operator. In August 1995, Thomas’s job was eliminated. In June 1996, Thomas applied for disability-insurance benefits under the Social Security Act (Act), 42 U.S.C. § 301, et. seq., based on Thomas’s heart disease and cervical and lumbar radiculopathy. The Social Security Administration (SSA) (defendant) denied Thomas’s application. In a hearing, an administrative law judge (ALJ) concluded that Thomas was not under a disability because she was still able to perform her previous work as an elevator operator. After the SSA’s Appeals Council denied her request for review, Thomas challenged the ALJ’s determination in district court on the ground that she was unable to perform her previous work because the job no longer existed in significant numbers in the national economy. The district court affirmed. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed in favor of Thomas. The United States Supreme Court granted the SSA’s petition for certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Scalia, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 223,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.