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Congress Secures Private Right of Action for Low-Income Households Seeking Food Assistance

By David A. Super

Although suits by applicants for and recipients of food stamps long have been integral in the administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), two court decisions had restricted low-income households' ability to seek judicial enforcement of the Food Stamp Act--renamed the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008--and its implementing regulations. Congress overturned these decisions through provisions of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, establishing once and for all that both the Food and Nutrition Act and SNAP regulations remain judicially enforceable.

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