as he had in the past. (Tr. 15-16). This conclusion is supported by plaintiff's current activities as a volunteer for "Travel Council." (Tr. 46-48).
Plaintiff attacks these findings on several grounds, each of which the court finds unpersuasive. First, Marler attacks the ALJ as being biased. (Pl. Statement in Support of Summary Judgment, at 1-2; Reply at 1). To substantiate such a claim, Marler must overcome a presumption of honesty and integrity afforded the ALJ. See Withrow v. Larkin, 421 U.S. 35, 47, 43 L. Ed. 2d 712, 95 S. Ct. 1456 (1975). Apart from plaintiff's bare allegations of bias, the record reflects no evidence of any bias sufficient to rebut the presumption of honesty and integrity.
Second, Marler claims that he never waived his right to the initial hearing. He claims that any statement to the contrary "is either a lie . . . or a perjurice [sic] statement in endorsment. [sic] of an administrative law judge." (Pl. Reply at 1). At page 78 of the transcript submitted to the court appears Marler's "Request for Hearing." On that page, plaintiff checked the box which stated "I do not wish to appear at a hearing. I request that a decision be made on the basis of the evidence in my case." (Tr. 78) (emphasis in original). In any event, the issue of waiver cannot affect the outcome of this matter because a second hearing was held subsequent to the hearing in question and Marler appeared and testified at the subsequent hearing. (Tr. 10-17).
Next, plaintiff claims that he submitted documents from a doctor in support of his medical disability but the ALJ "disregarded [it] because the doctor submitting the data was not caucasian." (Reply at 2). The record does not reflect any such submissions. In addition, Marler's claims of racial animus find no support in the record. Consequently, the court rejects Marler's claims that he submitted medical documents other than those reflected in the record.
Finally, plaintiff attaches another form from the Social Services Department of the County of San Diego along with his response. As a court reviewing the decision of the ALJ, the court does not consider additional evidence set forth at this late date. Nevertheless, even if the court accepted Marler's submission, it would not change the accuracy of the ALJ's decision. The Social Services Form, a one page "report", discusses plaintiff's broken hip and finds Marler unemployable through December 1995 for the purposes of receiving General Relief from the County of San Diego. Such conclusions do not upset the ALJ's findings, supported by three doctors, that Marler is not disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act.
After reviewing the entire record under the lens mandated by Flaten, supra, this court finds that substantial evidence supports the findings of the ALJ.
B. THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE APPLIED THE LAW CORRECTLY
Equally unavailing to plaintiff is his claim that the ALJ failed to give the proper weight to the medical evidence. In most circumstances, any conflict of evidence resolved by the commissioner "must be upheld where there is more than one rational interpretation of the evidence." Sprague v. Bowen, 812 F.2d 1226, 1230 (9th Cir. 1987). The ALJ weighed the thorough reports of two orthopedic surgeons and a board certified psychiatrist more heavily than the conclusory statement found on a social services form. (Tr. 14-16). The court finds the ALJ's evaluation of this testimony both specific and legitimate. See Andrews v. Shalala, 53 F.3d 1035, 1042 (9th Cir. 1995); see also 20 C.F.R. § 416.927(d).
Finally, although not raised by Marler, this Court finds that the ALJ properly discounted plaintiff's subjective complaints of pain. Under Bunnell v. Sullivan, an ALJ can find a claimant's allegations of severe pain not credible as long as he makes specific findings which support that conclusion. Bunnell, 947 F.2d 341, 344-45 (9th Cir. 1991). After evaluating the reports of Drs. Thomas, MacMorran, and Richards, the ALJ found no clinical findings that supported Marler's complaints of pain to the degree alleged. (Tr. 14). Similarly, the evidence did not show that Marler was taking any pain medication with a potency consistent with his alleged pain; he only took aspirin. Id, at 14-15. The ALJ also discredited Marler's complaints based on his daily activities, including performing volunteer work for the Travel Council. Id. Finally, none of the physicians found that Marler's impairments, either alone or in concert, constitute a disability that would preclude Marler from full time work. (Tr. 14, 95-101, 137-153).
Overall, this Court finds that the ALJ articulated his rulings clearly and the record supports his conclusion. Accordingly, this court denies plaintiff's motion for reversal and remand and grant's defendant's motion for summary judgment.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
MARILYN L. HUFF, JUDGE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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