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More on the Supremes’ busy day

Yesterday the Supreme Court made news for what it did do – like ruling that black Chicago firefighter candidates didn’t wait too long to bring a disparate impact discrimination suit. But the Court also made some newsworthy decisions about what it will do.

Next term the court will decide under what circumstances the Federal Arbitration Act preempts a state from conditioning the enforcement of an arbitration agreement on the availability of class-wide arbitration. That case, AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, was one of five certiorari grants by the Court yesterday.

The Court agreed to decide whether a tort claim against a manufacturer for choosing not to install a combination lap/shoulder belt in a vehicle’s middle backseat is preempted by a federal motor vehicle regulation in Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America.

And the Court also made some noteworthy decisions about what it won’t do – such as rule on the case this term asking whether individuals have a private right of action for criminal contempt, or if only the government may bring such a charge (instead, the justices dismissed the case Robertson v. U.S. ex rel. Watson as improvidently granted). The justices also declined to take up a closely-watched case asking whether the work product doctrine prevents IRS officials from examining materials prepared by attorneys in support of audited corporate financial statements. That means the 1st Circuit ruling in the case Textron v. U.S. that the documents must be disclosed stands.

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