- Clark Neily, Institute for Justice
For a federal court to consider an issue, there must be a case or controversy, and the parties before the court must have standing, i.e., a stake in the outcome of the decision. While standing is important in our system of justice, the courts are not the only avenue for relief (the ballot box, theoretically, being another). This panel will explore the history, development and current status of standing doctrine in regulatory litigation, with particular focus on the extent to which standing and related justiciability requirements have come to serve as a shield against meaningful judicial review of agency actions.
The Federalist Society's Administrative Law & Regulation Practice Group presented this panel on "Without Standing, Are We All Sitting Ducks?" on Saturday, November 15, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.
In a recent article, constitutional lawyer Charles Cooper argued that federal courts have erred by too narrowly construing their statutory grants of diversity jurisdiction. Mr. Cooper urges the courts to recognize much broader federal jurisdiction based on diversity of citizenship as a matter of both statutory and constitutional interpretation. Others have called on Congress to consider legislation that would expand federal courts' diversity jurisdiction to include all cases in which any two parties come from different states. Our panel will include members of the federal judiciary to discuss whether (and if so, how) federal court jurisdiction should be expanded.
The Federalist Society's Practice Groups presented this panel on "Diversity Jurisdiction from Strawbridge to CAFA" on Friday, November 14, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.
In Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., the Supreme Court will address the level of deference the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit must give to a trial court’s interpretation of patent claims.
In 1996, the Supreme Court stated that patent claim construction was “exclusively within the province of the court.” Two years later, the Federal Circuit held, en banc, that the proper standard of review for district court claim constructions is de novo review, extending to related fact-based questions, in Cybor Corporation v. FAS Technologies. Since that time, the use of the de novo standard has been widely criticized. Recently, in the Lighting Ballast Control LLC v. Philips Electronics N.A. Corp. case, the Federal Circuit took another look at this issue, but affirmed the use of the de novo standard, finding no compelling reason to depart from its 15-year precedent.
Now the Supreme Court will have the opportunity to decide whether the Federal Circuit’s longstanding use of the de novo standard of review for patent claim construction is wrong. Specifically, the question before the Court is whether a district court’s factual finding in support of its construction of a patent claim term may be reviewed de novo, as per Federal Circuit precedent, or only for clear error, as per Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 52(a).
On June 30, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Harris v. Quinn. The central question in this case concerned whether a state can, consistent with the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution, compel in-home care providers paid for through Medicare, also known as “personal assistants” or “PAs,” to financially support a union to be their exclusive representative with respect to employment-related collective bargaining.
In an opinion delivered by Justice Alito, the Court held by a vote of 5-4 that the First Amendment prohibits the collection of an agency fee from PAs who do not want to join or support the union. Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas joined the opinion of the Court. Justice Kagan wrote a dissenting opinion, joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor. The decision of the Seventh Circuit was reversed in part, affirmed in part, and remanded.
To discuss the case, we have Andrew Grossman who is an Associate at Baker & Hostetler LLP and Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute.