D.C. No.2:09-cv-01161-AHM-PLA D.C. No.2:09-cv-01161-AHM-PLA Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California A. Howard Matz, District Judge, Presiding
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ikuta, Circuit Judge:
Argued December 6, 2011 Submitted January 26, 2012
Before: John T. Noonan, Ronald M. Gould, and Sandra S. Ikuta, Circuit Judges.
The California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) and the United States Department of Education appeal from the district court's decision enforcing a 2008 arbitration award issued pursuant to 20 U.S.C. § 107d-1(a) of the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act (the Act). We have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291, and we reverse.
Some familiarity with the structure of the Randolph-Sheppard Act and the manner in which it provides for resolution of disputes is necessary to understand the sequence of events in this case. We briefly provide the relevant background.
The Randolph-Sheppard Act establishes a cooperative program between the federal government and the states to assist blind persons who wish to operate vending facilities on federal property. See 20 U.S.C. § 107. The stated purposes of the Act are "providing blind persons with remunerative employment, enlarging the economic opportunities of the blind, and stimulating the blind to greater efforts in striving to make themselves self-supporting." § 107(a). The Rehabilitation Services Administration within the Department of Education administers the Act with the help of state agencies designated by the Secretary of Education. §§ 107(b), 107a(a), 107b. In participating states, these state agencies (referred to as "state licensing agencies") issue licenses to blind persons that make them eligible to operate vending facilities on federal properties within that state. § 107a(b). In order to establish a vending site, a state licensing agency must seek authorization in the form of a permit from the federal agency in control of the property on which the site is to be located. § 107a(c); 34 C.F.R. § 395.16.
State participation in the Randolph-Sheppard program is voluntary. See 20 U.S.C. § 107b. A state agency that wishes to participate must apply to the Secretary for designation as a state licensing agency and agree to "cooperate with the Secretary in carrying out the purpose" of the Act, § 107b(1), as well as comply with a number of more specific requirements, see, e.g., § 107b(2)-(6). For example, a state licensing agency must "give preference to blind persons who are in need of employment" when issuing licenses, § 107a(b); provide each licensed blind vendor with "such vending facility equipment, and adequate initial stock of suitable articles to be vended therefrom, as may be necessary," § 107b(2); make periodic reports to the Secretary of Education, § 107b(4); provide licensed blind vendors with relevant financial data, § 107b-1; conduct a biennial election of a Committee of Blind Vendors to represent all blind licensees in the state program, § 107b-1(2); cooperate with the Committee in the training of blind licensees, § 107b-1(3); disburse vending machine income to licensed blind vendors according ...