Updates: Rosenbaum Nomination Official; Interns Denied Cert

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By William Peacock, Esq. on November 12, 2013 5:09 PM

It's official! Well, Judge Robin Rosenbaum's Eleventh Circuit nomination is, at least. If past nominations are any indication, confirmation is no sure thing. That being said, Rosenbaum certainly seems like a savvy nomination by President Barack Obama.

And in unsurprising news, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in an unpublished case that we covered earlier, which means unpaid interns will have to wait a little longer for their day in front of the nation's high court.

Rosenbaum's Nomination: Will She Be Blocked?

On Thursday, the White House made the rumored nomination of Judge Robin Rosenbaum official. Judge Rosenbaum, who has been on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida's bench since only 2012, previously served as a magistrate judge in the same district. Prior to that, she had a long and distinguished stint in the United States Attorney's office, and clerked for Eleventh Circuit Judge Stanley Marcus.

That's quite the resume, and her experience as a magistrate judge and as Judge Marcus's clerk should allay any concerns over her proposed bump, after barely a year, from the district court to the Eleventh Circuit.

As we opined when the rumors swirled last month, this nomination makes a lot of sense in a circuit plagued by multiple unfilled vacancies. Just last year, Rosenbaum was confirmed by a 92-3 vote. It would be difficult for the Senate to block her nomination over any reasons besides transparent partisan politics.

Unpublished Unpaid Interns' Case Ends

File Kaplan v. Code Blue Billing, Inc. under "Duh," times two. The Eleventh Circuit's unpublished opinion held no surprises, and neither did the Supreme Court's rejection of the appeal. In fact, the only reason we covered it was because of the nationwide trend of unpaid internship lawsuits.

The plaintiffs in the case were awarded academic credit (which is not explicitly a factor in the Portland Terminal test), and though the court stopped short of outright holding that academic credit suffices for a passing grade under Portland, it did repeatedly reference the credit. It also, somewhat naively, indicated that the employer received little to no benefit, as it had to train the interns with full-time employees. (We don't buy it: for-profit companies aren't training interns unless it pays off.)

From the court's holding, we couldn't help but wonder: Was the court was tacitly indicating that if academic credit is received, and the employer's benefit isn't too obvious, an unpaid internship will comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act?

Either way, the interns went into the position knowing it was unpaid, for credit, and would not lead to long-term employment. The court's holding, even without hidden messages, was expected.

The Supreme Court, also as expected, denied certiorari. With this case being pretty clear-cut under Portland Terminal, the only way cert would've happened was if the Court wanted to reverse decades-old precedent in an uncontroversial area of law.

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