Monday, June 15, 2009

At the Supreme Court...

The Supreme Court granted certiorari in United Student Aid Fund v. Espinosa (08-1134). The Court will decide: whether an individual who owes a student loan may wipe out the debt — at least partly — in a bankruptcy without showing that the debt posed an “undue hardship.” [From the SCOTUS Blog].

The Supreme Court also granted certiorari in Stop the Beach Renourishment v. Florida (08-1151). SCOTUS Blog described the issue in Stop the Beach as follows: "the Court will consider putting constitutional limits on states’ authority to restore storm-eroded beaches along the ocean or lakeshores, when such action modifies private property boundary lines." The decision under review, from the Supreme Court of Florida, can be found here.

The Court also agreed to hear a case "it had agreed to decide, but did not resolve, six years ago: when two companies agree to send their disputes to arbitration, may a court order that process to go forward as a class action, if the contract says nothing on that issue. The issue arises anew in Stolt-Nielsen S.A., et al., v. Animalfeeds International Corp. (08-1198)." [From the SCOTUS Blog].

A couple other orders from the Supreme Court are described by the SCOTUS Blog and quoted below:

"The Court, in another of Monday’s orders, invited the U.S. Solicitor General to offer the federal government’s views on an issue under the bankruptcy law’s Chapter 13 — what is the formula bankruptcy courts are to use in deciding how much a Chapter 13 debtor has available to pay creditors who hold no security, when a repayment plan is being fashioned. There is no deadline for the S.G.’s response. The case is Hamilton, Trustee, v. Lanning (08-998).

Among the cases the Court refused to hear on Monday was a constitutional dispute over the federal government’s powers to set aside federal and state laws that interfere with the building of the long fence on the U.S.-Mexico border, part of an effort to restrict drug traffic and thwart terrorist movements. The Court had turned aside that controversy a year ago (07-1180). This time, the Justices examined the new case at eight separate private meetings, then still came to the conclusion that it would not rule on it. The case is El Paso County, et al., v. Napolitano (08-751). As usual, the Court offered no explanation for denial of review.

In another denial, the Court refused to hear a claim that anti-Castro sentiment was so rampant in the Miami, Fla., area that a group of five Cubans could not get a fair trial there on charges of spying for that government. The case had stirred a strong international reaction. It was Campa, et al., v. U.S. (08-987)."


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