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Access Issues in the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Term

Litigation Is Not Getting Any Easier

By Gill Deford, Jane Perkins & Gary F. Smith

The U.S. Supreme Court in its 2010 Term continued to throw boulders on the path to federal court, the Wal-Mart case limiting class actions being a well-known example. The justices limit access in other ways, in some cases going through contortions to arrive at an interpretation: deference cases (continued to defer to agency action) and preemption cases (preempted California law on arbitration clauses). The Court denied standing to taxpayers in an establishment clause case, with Justice Kagan dissenting from the majority’s result-oriented reasoning. However, in two employment law cases, the Court overturned lower-court rulings dismissing suits for failure to state a claim, and failure-to-state-a-claim cases did not intepret Twombly and Iqbal strictly.

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