|Docket No.||Op. Below||Argument||Opinion||Vote||Author||Term|
|11-45||1st Cir.||Feb 27, 2012||Jun 11, 2012||6-3||Thomas||OT 2011|
Holding: The Civil Service Reform Act provides the exclusive avenue to judicial review when a qualifying federal employee challenges an adverse employment action by arguing that a federal statute is unconstitutional.
Plain English Summary: With a few exceptions, federal law requires all male U.S. citizens between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five to register for the draft. A different federal law bars from the civil service (which encompasses most of the jobs within the executive branch) anyone who knowingly refused to do so. The lead petitioner in this case was Michael Elgin, a former federal employee who was fired when the government discovered that he failed to register for the draft. Elgin tried to challenge the law in court, arguing among other things that the law violates the Constitution because women are not required to register for the draft – and therefore can never be fired for failing to do so. At issue before the Court was not whether Elgin is correct, but instead how he gets to raise his challenge. By a vote of six to three, the Court sided with the federal government, which argued that a former federal employee like Elgin must first bring his claims to a federal agency (the Merit Systems Protection Board, or MSPB), rather than a court – even if the MSPB isn’t allowed to decide constitutional claims like his. The Court reasoned that, even if the MSPB can’t decide Elgin’s claims, the federal appeals court that reviews the MSPB’s decisions – the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit – can. Therefore, there is no reason to believe that Congress meant to allow litigants like Elgin to bypass the procedure it created for most other employment-related claims.
Judgment: Affirmed, 6-3, in an opinion by Justice Thomas on June 11, 2012. Justice Alito filed a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justices Ginsburg and Kagan.
Merits Briefs for the Petitioner
Amicus Briefs in Support of the Petitioners
Merits Briefs for the Respondents
NEW: SCOTUS adds one new case to its docket for next term: Hemphill v. New York, a criminal-procedure case about the interaction between hearsay rules and the right of defendants to confront witnesses against them. Still no action on major petitions involving guns and abortion.
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By @StanfordLaw’s Gregory Ablavsky.
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Are Alaska Native corporations — special corporations that Congress created in 1971 when it resolved Native claims ...
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We've reached the final round of SCOTUS bracketology, and two illustrious chief justices are facing off for the championship. One wrote Marbury v. Madison. The other wrote Brown v. Board. Our full write-up on both finalists is here: https://www.scotusblog.com/2021/04/the-great-chief-and-the-super-chief-a-final-showdown-in-supreme-court-march-madness/
Cast your vote below!
NEW: The Supreme Court will issue opinion(s?) next Thursday April 22. We’re still waiting on decisions in the ACA case and Fulton v. City of Philadelphia about religious liberty and LGBT rights.
Four Democrats unveiled legislation today to expand the size of the Supreme Court from nine justices to 13 -- but Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate quickly threw cold water on the proposal.
Here's our report from @jamesromoser:
Bill to enlarge the Supreme Court faces dim prospects in Congress - SCOTUSblog
Four congressional Democrats introduced legislation Thursday to expand the number of seats on the Supreme Court from ...
We're so excited about our April 15 Live Webinar (w/ @HarvardACS & @HarvardFedSoc), Covering the Court, featuring an all-star lineup of panelists @jduffyrice, @katieleebarlow, @whignewtons, & @stevenmazie! _👩⚖️👩⚖️👩⚖️👨⚖️👨⚖️👨⚖️👨⚖️👨⚖️👨⚖️_ Register here ➡️ https://harvard.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_k_b_9IPBQ_GV37rpsjF9kw
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