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Petition of the day

The petition of the day is:


Issue: (1) Whether the Fourth Circuit erred in holding, in conflict with the Ninth Circuit, that the Shipping Act’s exemption from federal antitrust laws of any “agreement or activity relating to the foreign inland segment” of “through transportation” between the United States and a foreign country” does not apply where a collusive agreement relating to the “foreign inland segment” indirectly affects prices for overall “through transportation”; and (2) whether the Fourth Circuit erred in holding, in conflict with this Court’s jurisprudence and with decisions of other courts, that the False Claims Act, which provides that a person who submits to the government a false claim for payment is liable for treble damages plus “a civil penalty of not less than $5,000,” requires — and the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause condones — mechanical imposition of a separate civil penalty for each invoice submitted to the government (here, over 9,000), without regard to the defendant’s culpability, even where the invoices are “false” only by operation of law under United States ex rel. Marcus v. Hess.

Recommended Citation: Maureen Johnston, Petition of the day, SCOTUSblog (Sep. 17, 2014, 10:10 PM),