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Argentine bond case denied (FURTHER UPDATE)

FURTHER UPDATE 2:14 p.m. Monday.  The Court will consider the nine petitions on the “greenhouse gas” regulations at its Conference on Friday, according to the Court’s electronic docket.  No action was taken on those on Monday.


The Supreme Court on Monday refused — at least for now — to review the power of U.S. courts to control how the government of Argentina chooses to pay off those who invested in its government bonds.  Without comment, the Court refused to hear an initial appeal by Argentine officials.  However, the same issue is expected to return when that government files a new challenge to a later ruling by the Second Circuit Court.  Justice Sonia Sotomayor took no part in Monday’s action turning aside Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital (12-1494).

No new cases were granted beyond those the Court had accepted on October 1, before the Term’s formal opening. The order list is here.

In another major business case, the Court refused to clear the way for seventy-six banks and other financial institutions to appeal a dispute on their potential multi-billion-dollar liability for selling flawed mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.   The denial — with Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., not taking part — was on a motion to intervene to file a petition in the Supreme Court challenging a Second Circuit Court ruling in a “lead” case that has since been settled. (JPMorgan Chase v. Federal Housing Finance Agency, motion 13M30).  Some of the banks involved in this dispute are engaged in settlement talks with federal officials.

While the Court issued a massive list of orders on cases that had come in over the summer recess, it took no action on nine pending petitions testing the federal government’s power to regulate so-called “greenhouse gases” in an effort to head off global warming.  The federal government has urged the Justices to deny review of all nine of the petitions. (This blog explained those challenges in this post in May.)

The Court asked the U.S. Solicitor General to offer the federal government’s views on whether the Court should hear six new petitions: No. 12-1226, Young v. United Parcel Service, a case on discrimination against pregnant workers; No. 12-1349, United States ex rel. Nathan v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals, on the standard of proof of falsity under the False Claims Act; No. 12-1351, Medtronic v. Stengelon the right of patients to sue in state court over failure to warn of side effects of medical devices; No. 12-1497, Kellogg Brown & Root v. United States ex rel. Carter, on filing deadlines for claims of fraud against the government; No. 13-43, Maersk Drilling USA v. Transocean Offshore Deepwater, on application of U.S. patent law to transactions that occurred primarily overseas, and No. 13-130, Thurber v. Aetna Life Insurance, on the right of an employee benefit plan to recover overpaid benefits.  (Justice Stephen G. Breyer took no part in the order on the Thurber case.)

Among the cases the Court refused to review are the Duke lacrosse team scandal, involving allegations of police fabrication of evidence (Evans v. Durham, N.C. (No. 12-1363)); three petitions seeking to have the Court undertake a major overhaul of Commerce Clause law in the context of state power to regulate activity beyond its borders — here, a Michigan law on recycling of bottles and cans (Nos. 12-1221, 12-1224 and 12-1344);, a plea by a small religious community in Montana to avoid paying workers’ compensation to its employees, Big Sky Colony v. Montana Labor and Industry Department, No. 12-1191; and a plea by a Qatari national, Ali Saleh Kahlan Al-Marri, to have his prison sentence reduced to make up for years he spent as a captive of the U.S. military in a terrorist investigation; the U.S. government had refused to respond to Al-Marri’s petition (No. 13-105).

The Court also refused to reopen the constitutional question of students’ right to include a religious message in speeches they make at public school graduation ceremonies (A.M. v. Taconic Hills Central School District, No. 12-1479), and turned aside an appeal by Virginia officials seeking the power to enforce a broad anti-sodomy law in a case where the victim is a minor; the Fourth Circuit struck down the measure for use in any circumstances (Moose v. MacDonald, No. 12-1490).

Recommended Citation: Lyle Denniston, Argentine bond case denied (FURTHER UPDATE), SCOTUSblog (Oct. 7, 2013, 11:45 AM),