obsolete language of the Anti-Assignment Act means that the
Government has the power to pick and choose which
assignments it will accept and which it will not. Although
this state of affairs may diverge sharply from what Congress
intended when it enacted the Anti-Assignment Act, it is not
for us to rewrite the statute or decline to enforce it (as Honig
urges) simply because circumstances have changed since it
See Xi v. INS, 298 F.3d 832, 839 (9th Cir. 2002)
(“[A] decision to rear-range [sic] or rewrite the statute falls
within the legislative, not the judicial, prerogative.”).
Despite the Anti-Assignment Act’s plain language, the
Supreme Court has carved out equitable exceptions to its
application, noting that the Act “must be interpreted in the
light of its purpose to give protection to the Government. . . .
[A]ssignments may be heeded, at all events in equity, if they
will not frustrate the ends to which the prohibition was
whether the Government has waived the Anti-Assignment Act, we look
to the Government’s “course of conduct” to determine whether “the
Government was aware of, assented to, and recognized the assignments.”
Tuftco Corp. v. United States, 614 F.2d 740, 745 (Ct. Cl. 1980). The
Government must waive the Act in its entirety; it cannot choose to waive
some of its requirements and not others. See Schwartz v. United States,
16 Cl. Ct. 182, 188 (1989). Honig and the Kim Claimants provide no
authority to suggest that the Government must waive the Anti-Assignment
Act towards all claimants in an action, and we have found none.
Accordingly, we reject Honig’s and the Kim Claimant’s assertion that the
Government may not assert the Anti-Assignment Act.
We also reject Honig’s contention that the Anti-Assignment Act
offends the separation of powers. Nothing in the Anti-Assignment Act
can be construed as setting conditions on when a court may render a
judgment or when that judgment may be considered final. It is solely a
prohibition on the right of a claimant to assign a claim against the United
States to another.