Archive for the ‘Governmental Agencies’ Category

WHAT HAPPENED?
Plaintiff was an employee of the U.S. Post Office for thirty years and was (allegedly) subject to repeated harassment from his superiors.  After filing an EEOC Complaint against the Post Office for not promoting him, Plaintiff alleged that he was subject to further harassment which resulted in his forced retirement.  Plaintiff sought civil recovery under the theory of constructive discharge, which argues that the job was made difficult so you would be forced to quit, but his claims were dismissed as untimely.
WHY IS THIS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT?
Work discrimination claims are highly regulated by time restrictions and statute(s) of limitations.  The issue in this case is whether or not Plaintiff’s claim for constructive discharge started (1) at the time that he quit his job, or (2) on the date of the “last discriminatory act” by the employer.   The first option (1) favors the employee because it allows the employee to toll the statute of limitations until they decide to quit.  The second option (2) favors the employer because it requires that the employee either quit or file the complaint.
WHAT IS THE RULING
This case is not yet decided.
WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS OF THIS DECISION?
In the scope of this type of claim, the decision will be fairly influential.  This issue has split federal jurisdictions, so the Court’s decision here will add conformity to the law and will strongly favor one side or the other as stated in the paragraph above.
YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR GREEN IF YOU:
You are the kind of person who hates their job, talks about how they want to quit, pull brochures for interesting Master’s programs, only to change your mind when you’re given a nominal raise and a pat on the back.
YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR THE BRENNAN IF YOU:
Are a boss, and not in the cool Bruce Springsteen way, but like in the awful, no one likes you kind of way.

WHAT HAPPENED?

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission passed regulations that affect the wholesale-electricity retail markets. This has an effect on how electricity is regulated, since /retail energy trading is a market that can assist parties/businesses who consume high amounts of electricity and can also help energy providers prevent blackouts

WHY IS THIS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT?

This is a case that deals with how administrative agencies make rules and regulations in the market of private business. While the FERC has authority to control certain aspects of the energy market, this particular type of market is not specifically given to the FERC from Congress, so the question is whether or not the Court will infer this type of power in favor of the FERC.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I don’t understand this case at all. I tried very hard to research the legal issues and listen to the oral argument, but at the end of the day it seems to come down to economics, wholesale, and numbers. My public high-school education and liberal arts college degree did not adequately prepare me for blogging about these topics.

WHAT IS THE RULING

This case is not yet decided.

WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS OF THIS DECISION?

By all accounts, the ramifications of this decision are really just limited to the regulation of retail and wholesale energy. If you are interested in this case more, you should watch the Enron documentary, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, which is part why we are here to begin with.

YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR FERC IF YOU

Like the bureaucracy of politics over the bureaucracy of big business.

YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR THE ELECTRIC POWER SUPPLY ASSOC IF YOU:

Look forward to the potential disaster that comes from unregulated capitalism.

WHAT HAPPENED?

The Employment Retirement Income Securities Act (ERISA) is a federal law that governs disputes between employee and employer health insurance plans. Vermont has a separate State law that requires Liberty Mutual to report certain health care claims to a separate database than ERISA.

WHY IS THIS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT?

Federal preemption is a legal concept wherein Federal law takes precedence over State law in most situations. The theory there is that the Federal government should be able to act independently of each State’s particular laws, since each State is different and States also tend to favor their own citizens over the citizens of other States. While ERISA is generally considered superior law, ERISA also has caveats written into the law that permit States to act in certain areas. This case evaluates those exemptions to see if the Vermont program is permitted.

WHAT IS THE RULING

This case is not yet decided.

WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS OF THIS DECISION?

This decision should have a fairly substantial impact on the practice of employee health care disputes. If the Vermont program is permitted, it allows more review and better procedure for ensuring the safety, efficacy, and quality of health care delivered to patients. If ERISA precludes the Vermont law, there would be less government interaction required for employers, which would keep procedures consistent across States and the Courts.

YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR GOBEILLE IF YOU:

Are republican in the literal sense, and a democrat in a figurative sense.

YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR THE LIBERTY MUTUAL IF YOU:

For real, Liberty Mutual has the worst commercials on TV, right?  They’re smug and they get played all the time.  So screw them, regardless of legal implications.

 

 

This week covers Arizona Legislature v. Arizona Districting Committee & EPA v. Michigan (both pdfs), which are two cases where the political result of both did not mesh with Brett and Nazim’s view of the legal rationale in the Court’s decisions.  In addition, Brett and Nazim play a spirited game of F@#$, Marry, Kill with American past times and figure out what “Naziming” is.

…gerrymandering is named after Elbridge Gerry, a politician who I believe attended the constitutional convention. The reason it is called “gerrymandering” is not because his last name is gerrymander, but because his redrawn district looked a lot like a salamander, so they called it gerrymandering. Fun fact, the correct pronunciation of his name is “Gary”, so it is actually pronounced “garymandering”. However, I would stick to saying “gerrymandering” instead of “garymandering” because it makes you sound like a pretentious douche.

Ideological Leanings of Supreme Court Justices 1950-2011. Source: wikipedia (linked).