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Monday, May 14, 2018

Mootness in Sanchez-Gomez

SCOTUS on Monday decided United States v. Sanchez-Gomez, unanimously holding (per the Chief) that the constitutional challenge to a district-wide policy of shackling all pretrial detainees was moot when the prosecutions of the four defendants ended; neither the special treatment of class actions (where there had been no class certification) nor capable-of-repetition kept the case alive. My opinion analysis is on SCOTUSBlog.

The opinion contains a fair bit of language emphasizing the individual nature of constitutional litigation, thereby supporting the view that injunctions must be particularized to the parties and not accord universal protection or limitations to non-parties. The Court emphasized the "usual rule that litigation is conducted by and on behalf of the individual named parties only" and that the "'mere presence of . . . allegations' that might, if resolved in respondents' favor, benefit other similarly situated individuals" does not matter. The Court was talking about Article III mootness and when disputes remain alive. But the principles carry to questions such as the scope of an injunction.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on May 14, 2018 at 03:44 PM in Civil Procedure, Constitutional thoughts, Howard Wasserman, Law and Politics | Permalink


Really interesting points! Perhaps you'd be interested in reading a sort of fun article I wrote on Sandra Ikuta and her link between this case and another recently overturned by the Supreme Court at my blog: https://wordpress.com/view/ikutamatata.blog

Posted by: Sean Smith | May 17, 2018 7:35:37 AM

Thanks for drawing our attention to such interesting and important ruling . Has not too much to do with universal injunction. We deal here with really another issue. The court claims that :

To invoke federal jurisdiction, a plaintiff must show a “personal stake” in the outcome of the action. Genesis HealthCare Corp. v. Symczyk, 569 U. S. 66, 71 (2013).“This requirement ensures that the Federal Judiciary confines itself to its constitutionally limited role of adjudicating actual and concrete disputes, the resolutions of which have direct consequences on the parties involved.”Ibid.

End of quotation :

But it is contradiction in terms . For it is correct for every possible court , but federal court . For a federal court , is a constitutional court , and by that it is differentiated from other courts . As such, by nature, it must prevail in issues , which have greater or strategic influence and consequences upon daily issues , and lower courts issues. It is correct to assert it , for every court typically, but constitutional one with all due respect . So , when there is a theoretical case , becoming moot very soon ( pretrial detention conditions ) this is the right court to deal with it , once for all !! Even an ordinary court , should deal with it so sometimes . Otherwise , important constitutional issue , would never be solved.

The court claims that relying on those cases of " Honig " and " Turner" are inapposite , because , I quote :

Our decisions in those civil cases rested on the litigants inability , for reasons beyond their control .

End of quotation :

But , this is not about inability or incompetence . But about procedure !! About mootness and repetition of cases , to be solved prospectively , for creating stability and reliance ( And surly in criminal cases ). On the contrary :

Those cases mentioned , represent exceptional individuals , with no critical mass of occurrence . While , conditions in pre trial court , are a very daily occurrence , and constitutional issue .


Posted by: El roam | May 14, 2018 6:34:06 PM

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