Issue: (1) Whether the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit misinterpreted United States v. Munsingwear, and thus improperly relied on the district court’s factual findings and legal rulings in an earlier case that was vacated as moot while on appeal, even though other courts of appeals have interpreted Munsingwear as rendering a vacated decision a nullity, as if it the case had never been filed, and draining its factual findings of all vitality; (2) whether the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit misconstrued Rule 60(b)(5) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as this Court has interpreted that rule in Board of Education of Oklahoma City Public Schools v. Dowell and Rufo v. Inmates of Suffolk County Jail by deeming substantial compliance with a consent decree over more than two decades insufficient to justify termination, even though other courts of appeals have held that the defendant’s good faith and substantial compliance with a decree over a long period of time is a ground, standing alone, for terminating the decree; and (3) whether the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit misconstrued Rule 60(b)(5) by affirming the district court’s unilateral expansion of the decree, even though other courts of appeals have held that the rule does not authorize a court to increase the obligations imposed by a decree.
Proceedings and Orders
Jul 13 2012
Application (12A53) to extend the time to file a petition for a writ of certiorari from July 26, 2012 to September 24, 2012, submitted to Justice Alito.
Jul 17 2012
Application (12A53) granted by Justice Alito extending the time to file until September 24, 2012.
On Monday the Court issued orders from its December 6 Conference. (As Lyle reported the Court granted one new case from that Conference on Friday afternoon.) On Tuesday the Court issued one opinion and one dismissal. On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., we expect one or more opinions in argued cases. We will begin live blogging at 9:45. This is the second week of the December sitting; the hearing list for this sitting is here.