Judges Add New Bankruptcy, Workers’ Compensation and Final Judgment Relief Cases


The Supreme Court on Monday morning added three new cases – concerning bankruptcy law, civil procedure and workers’ compensation – to its record for the 2021-2022 term. But the orders that the judges from their January 7 private conference were equally notable for what they did not do: North Carolina, nor act on a petition filed by a web designer who does not want designing wedding websites for same sex couples.

Monday’s order list was the first regularly scheduled order list in nearly a month, following the judges’ recess for the winter break. The judges added three new cases to their substantive case:

  • United States v. Washington, the federal government’s challenge to a special Washington state workers’ compensation law for more than 100,000 federal contract workers employed at the Hanford site in the state, which produced a large part of the military-grade plutonium that was used at the start of the country’s nuclear program, but which also generated large amounts of radioactive waste. The law creates a presumption that workers will be entitled to benefits if they contract certain diseases, including cancer.
  • Siegel vs. Fitzgerald, in which judges will decide whether a 2017 law that increases fees in some bankruptcy courts but not in others violates a provision of the Constitution’s bankruptcy clause that orders Congress to establish “uniform laws on bankruptcy. subject of bankruptcies across the United States ”.
  • Kemp v. United States, implying whether a district court can reopen a judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60 (b) (1), which allows the court to do so for “excusable error, inadvertence, surprise or negligence”, if the judgment initial was on the basis of a miscarriage of justice of the district court.

The judges also sought the advice of the Solicitor General of the United States in two cases: Strauss v. Credit Lyonnais, involving the extent of civil liability under the Terrorist Sponsors Justice Act, and the patent case Olaf Suie Design vs. Daktronics. There is no deadline for the federal government to table its brief in these cases. [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to SCOTUSblog in various capacities, is counsel to the petitioners in Strauss.]

The court did not act on Students For Fair Admissions Against Harvard University Where Students for fair admissions c. University of North Carolina, the challenges of considering race by these schools as part of their undergraduate admissions process, and they have not acted on either. 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, in which website designer Lorie Smith asked the court to determine (among other things) whether Colorado could force her to create personalized wedding websites for same-sex couples. The judges will meet again for another private conference on Friday, January 14.

This article was originally published by Howe on the Court.

Business: Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College, Strauss v. Credit Lyonnais, SA, 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, United States v. Washington, Siegel v. Fitzgerald, Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina, Kemp v. United States, Olaf Sööt Design, LLC v. Daktronics, Inc.

Recommended citation:
Amy Howe,
Judges Add New Bankruptcy, Workers’ Compensation and Final Judgment Relief Cases,
SCOTUSblog (January 10, 2022, 5:19 p.m.), https://www.scotusblog.com/2022/01/justices-add-new-cases-on-bankruptcy-workers-comp-and-relief-from-final -jugements /

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