The Supreme Court recently issued its much-anticipated opinion in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, in which it barred plaintiffs’ U.S. lawsuit against foreign oil companies for alleged human rights abuses committed in Africa. Kiobel, which featured multiple rounds of oral argument and over 80 amici curiae briefs filed, was being watched carefully by multi-national corporations and the international community. While the Court ultimately came down on the side of the corporate defendants in Kiobel, the opinion may have stopped short of a workable rule that will substantially limit the volume of U.S. lawsuits for alleged international law violations committed overseas.
DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar has filed an amicus brief on merits with the U.S. Supreme Court, in support of the petitioner in Oxford Health Plans v. Sutter. DRI last year submitted an amicus brief supporting the petition for a writ of certiorari in the case.
On December 4, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Los Angeles County Flood Control Dist. v. Natural Resources Council, Inc., an appeal from a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit finding that a channelized portion of a river in Los Angeles County that allowed stormwater runoff to flow into an unchannelized segment of the river could be considered a "point source" subject to the Clean Water Act ("CWA"). Following the Ninth Circuit's ruling, many had criticized the decision as inconsistent with the Supreme Court's holding in South Florida Water Management District v. Miccosukee Tribe, 541 U.S. 95 (2004), which had held that a transfer of water within a single body of water cannot constitute a discharge from a point source under the CWA. Based on the positions taken and questions asked at oral argument, there would appear to be little chance that the Ninth Circuit's decision survives unscathed.
The Supreme Court surprised many on June 28 by deciding 5-4 that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) is constitutional, upholding the individual mandate. It also held, 7-2, that the federal government cannot punish states who refuse to accept the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid -- to all persons under age 65 with incomes less than 133% of the poverty level -- by cutting off their existing Medicaid funding.
The second day of oral arguments before the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act addressed whether Congress had power under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution to enact the individual mandate.
The final day of oral arguments before the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act focused on two separate issues. The first issue was argued in the morning and picked up on yesterday’s discussion regarding the constitutionality of the individual mandate.