Holding: Because the ordinary meaning of “interpreter” is someone who translates orally from one language to another, the category “compensation of interpreters” in 28 U.S.C. § 1920(6), which includes that category among the costs that may be awarded to prevailing parties in federal court lawsuits, does not include the cost of document translation.
Plain English Summary: “Because the ordinary meaning of ‘interpreter’ is someone who translates orally from one language to another,” … ‘compensation of interpreters’ in [28 U.S.C.] § 1920(6) does not include costs for document translation.” Put even more simply, people who win federal-court lawsuits cannot be reimbursed by the losing party for any of their document translation costs.
Judgment: Reversed and remanded, 6-3, in an opinion by Justice Alito on May 21, 2012. Justice Ginsburg filed a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justices Breyer and Sotomayor.
Merits Brief for the Petitioner
Amicus Briefs in Support of the Petitioner
Merits Briefs for the Respondent
Amicus Briefs in Support of the Respondent