Rule Change; Cert. Sought for NC Plates, Denied in Family Dollar - U.S. Fourth Circuit
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Rule Change; Cert. Sought for NC Plates, Denied in Family Dollar

Happy Wednesday. We're still waiting on Bostic.

But that's not all that's happening in the Fourth Circuit. There's been a rule change regarding the number of briefs one must file with the court. (Oooh!) And the North Carolina "Choose Life" license plate dispute is headed to the Supreme Court -- they hope. (Aaahhh!) But Family Dollar, the losers in a class action certification dispute, won't be, after the Supreme Court quietly denied certiorari before heading on summer vacation. (Gasp!)

Read on for the roundup ...

Rule Change Saves Trees

Seeking to save costs for appointed counsel and in forma pauperis cases, and maybe a few trees, the Fourth Circuit is tweaking its rule for the number of paper briefs that must be filed:

  • Parties must file one electronic copy and one paper copy of the brief or appendix when due;
  • If the court tentatively calendars the case for oral argument, parties must file three identical paper copies of their briefs and appendices within ten days of the notice tentatively assigning the case to an argument session;
  • The court will order additional copies if needed in any case.

The change is effective for briefing orders issued on or after September 1, 2014. If for some reason, you wish to comment on the rule, check the court's announcement for contact information.

North Carolina License Plates

NC hasn't given up on issuing pro-life license plates while refusing to issue a pro-choice alternative. It's now petitioning the Supreme Court for review, reports RH Reality Check.

We recapped North Carolina's arguably weak case when the Fourth Circuit ruled against the state earlier this year. The court called it viewpoint-based discrimination. North Carolina maintains that they aren't discriminating against anyone's speech -- license plates are government speech and therefore, the state should be free to say whatever it pleases.

There doesn't seem to be much of a circuit split here -- the Seventh Circuit also disapproved of abortion-related plates -- but the fact that his is a recurring issue, nation-wide, might get a cert. grant. It is, however, a long shot.

Family Dollar Denied

Judge Wilkinson, in dissent, argued that the majority's decision "drained" the Supreme Court's Wal-Mart v. Dukes opinion of meaning. The Dukes decision denied class certification because discrimination in stores varies widely in degree and severity, so there was no commonality. Here? It's discrimination in stores, but by middle-management. The majority allowed the plaintiffs to amend their complaint to plead some company-wide "specific employment practice."

SCOTUS, apparently, wasn't too offended by the narrowing of their precedent -- they denied cert last week, reports J.D. Supra.

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