Issue: (1) Whether, consistent with federal labor and employee benefits policy, collectively bargained retiree benefits should not be found “vested” for the life of the retiree when a collective bargaining agreement does not contain a “clear statement” that such benefits are vested and/or unalterable, nor any language that might reasonably be construed to provide such benefits, but does contain a provision limiting the insurance program providing benefits to the
duration of the labor contract, and does incorporate booklets reserving the right to change or discontinue benefits; and (2) whether the Sixth Circuit’s singular presumption of vesting retiree health care benefits based on the status of retirement has contravened federal labor and employee benefits policy by placing a “thumb on the scales” in favor of vesting, by impeding the development of a uniform federal labor law, and by adversely affecting the national uniform administration of benefit plans.
In an unanimous decision, the Court held that a soybean farmer cannot reproduce agri-giant Monsanto’s patented, genetically modified seeds through planting and harvesting without the company’s permission. Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal joins Jeffrey Brown to discuss the legal, agricultural, and technological implications of this decision.
At 9:30 a.m. on Monday we expect orders from the May 16 Conference. Our list of “Petitions to watch” for that Conference is here. At 10 a.m. we expect opinions in argued cases. We will begin live blogging shortly before 9:30.
On Thursday the Justices will meet for their May 23 Conference. Our list of “Petitions to watch” for that Conference is here.
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