Average Joe SCOTUS: Kisor v. Wilkie

James Kisor, retired marine, and damn fine American went to fight in the Vietnam conflict years ago. As a result, he suffered PTSD. So he went to the VA for disability benefits, and was denied.

Under statute 38 C.F.R. § 3.156(a), if a petitioner has new evidence, their denial may be reopened, and considered in light of the new information provided. So Kisor was like, “Listen here you motherfuckers, I deserve my benefits, and here’s why.”

The information Kisor submitted was not new evidence, however. It was evidence he had at the time of his first evaluation, it was just not in his file, and thus not considered at the time. It was Kisor’s Form 214 and the Combat History documents.

Since it wasn’t new information, but just previously not submitted information, we had what is known as a technicality. And the government loves technicalities, instead of just doing the right thing. They basically argued that those two documents do not prove PTSD, and therefore weren’t sufficient reason to provide him the relief he sought, and denied his shit again.

The Court of Appeals and Federal Circuit court couldn’t be bothered to help Kisor, either. So off to SCOTUS we go.

The issue at hand, largely seemed to be, was that if the VA writes its regulations, it should be the one interpreting them based on how they wrote them, and not others laws congress may have written in a different manner, since the VA knew what the fuck they meant to do when they wrote it. They cited Auer v. Robbins, 519 U.S. 452 (1997) as case history, which basically told salaried cops seeing overtime under federal labor rules, to go fuck themselves and their overtime requests. That the police department had it’s rules on what a salaried employee is, and they don’t get no fucking overtime.

So in order for Kisor to win, they’d have to overrule that case, and  Bowles v. Seminole Rock & Sand Co., 325 U.S. 410 (1945).

They didn’t. Unanimous decision for Kisor, while not opting to overrule Auer or Bowles.

You can read about the case or hear oral arguments here.

Another well written explanation from Cato here.



Average Joe SCOTUS: Emulex Corp. v. Varjabedian

Tech company Emulex Corp. was about to merge with Avago Technologies Wireless Manufacturing. Typically, when a company does this, it notifies shareholders about the intention to do so, and tells them all the deets. They then get to vote accordingly.

Avago hired Goldman Sachs to review the deal and advise if it was a fair deal for shareholders. Goldman Sachs was like, “Hey, as deals go, it’s OK. They’re not totally fucking you in the ass or anything, but it ain’t great, either.”

So some shareholders decided to sue Emulex and Avago , believing they were some lying motherfuckers saying that they were all like, “this is a sweet deal” when in fact it was a shitty ass deal.

Lower courts had decided the case, and the ninth circuit had contradicted all the other lower courts which had reviewed.

Once SCOTUS heard all the arguments, they apparently were bored AF, and decided to say that the lower courts had been some lazy mother fuckers and not even properly considered whether the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Section 14(e) even allows private entities to sue for this shit. So they sent it back, and went golfing. No decision.

Read about the case and hear oral arguments here.

Read about the arguments here

Average Joe SCOTUS: PDR Network, LLC v. Carlton & Harris Chiropractic Inc.

The fine folks at PDR network make publications for the medical community, such as physicians reference books and shit. They’re apparently stuck in the 1990’s, because these motherfuckers sent a fucking fax to the respondent, Carlton & Harris Chiropractic, Inc., trying to peddle some of their books via eBook.

PDR offered the respondent specifically, a free version of their eBook. Which is presumably why the 4th circuit tried to say it wasn’t a “commercial aim,” meaning they weren’t selling something, but instead giving it away.

The FCC’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) bans companies from soliciting via fax all unannounced and shit. If you do it, you may get your ass slapped with a $500 fine, and up to $1500, if they find you knew you shouldn’t do it, but you did it anyway.

PDR ‘s argument is: “How the hell can you sue for damages, when a fax offering a free book, caused you no fucking harm whatsoever?Like, seriously. We tried to give you that shit for free, asshole!”

When PDR Network went to the 4th circuit, they were all like, “We need not harmonize the FCC’s rule, with the underlying statute.” Meaning, they felt they didn’t have to worry about the FCC’s wording in their rules, only the law that underpins their rule. Seemed a little contradictory in nature, so PDR was all like, “WTF?”

SCOTUS decided they didn’t even give a fuck about PDR and those scumbag chiroquackers. Saying, “Fuck you, you’re not even real doctors.” Instead, all they decided to weigh in on, was who has the authority to rule on this shit. Even I got so confused with this nonsense I couldn’t be bothered.

So, siding with PDR, judgement against the 4th circuit’s action for PDR, they told the chiroquackers to eat a bag of dicks.

Hear oral arguments and read about the case here.

Here’s a couple other links as well.




Average Joe SCOTUS: The Dutra Group v. Batterton

So this dude Batterton worked on a boat owned by Dutra Group. The boat was missing a piece of equipment that the boat was supposed to have as a matter of law, because Dutra were soem cheap ass motherfuckers. As a result, there was an accident that destroyed Batterton’s hand.

Needless to say, Batterton was pissed! That was probably his masturbating hand. So he sued the fuck out of Dutra, seeking punitive damages.

Side note: Punitive damages are damages over and above financial damages like medical bills, and future earnings lost. It’s literally meant to PUNish (the same root as PUNitive) the person. Imagine for instance, the financial damages are small, like a thousand bucks, and it’s a huge company doing it. They might keep doing a bad thing, content to pay the $1,000 each time they’re sued, because it’s cheaper than not doing that bad thing. 

So punitive damages are meant to hit them in the nutsack, and make sure that they’re fully deincentivized from doing a bad thing. But that being said, it’s mean to be used against parties who knew they were doing the wrong thing, and did it anyway. You don’t typically want to punish someone for something they didn’t do on purpose.

Dutra Group went to the ninth circuit, and asked them to reject Batterton’s claim, because under the Jones Act, punitive damages aren’t available in such an incident. They cited an old SCOTUS case,  Miles v. Apex Marine Corp., 498 U.S. 19 (1990) as justification, because in that case, punitive damages weren’t available.

The ninth circuit politely told Dutra to go fuck themselves. They were all like, “Look at Batterton’s hand, motherfuckers? It’s wrecked! You’re gonna pay!”

So Dutra, thinking the ninth circuit was on crack, asked SCOTUS to step in.

SCOTUS conservatives, coupled with Kagan, decided to help Dutra out. Batterton referred to another previous SCOTUS case,  Atlantic Sounding Co. v. Townsend, 557 U.S. 404 (2009), where punitive damages were awarded, and felt like there was good precedent for recovering them.

But, in the Miles v. Apex Marine Corp., 498 U.S. 19 (1990) they were not awarded, and apparently the six justices felt like getting reimbursed for medical bills, and lost future earnings was enough. No need to punish Dutra beyond that.

6:3 Judgement for Dutra. Get your fucked up gnarly hand outta here.

Read about the case or hear oral arguments here.

Average Joe SCOTUS: Nielsen v. Preap

Mony Preap was a legal immigrant to the United States, a refugee from Cambodia. He came to the United States in 1981 with his parents. In 2006, his ass got busted with weed, and convicted of two misdemeanors as a result.

Because he’s a legal immigrant, and not a citizen, that immigration status can be revoked for certain crimes an immigrant pay commit, one of them being drug offenses.

But at the time, immigration authorities couldn’t be bothered, and did not detain him. Later, he was busted for battery, a crime that oddly does not qualify as a crime that gets you deported if you’re a non-citizen.

Thank about that. Victimless crime? “Fuck you, get out.” Straight up assault? “Nah, you’re good.”  America really needs to get its priorities straight. But back to Preap and others.

Once Preap was busted for battery, immigration decided to hold him without bail while they considered sending his ass back to Cambodia. But since the battery charge does not fall under the statute, they reverted back to his marijuana charges as justification for doing so.

Preap was like, “this is some bullshit” and filed for habeas relief, which means he wanted to be lawfully charged or released, not hanging out and chilling in jail for no good reason.

The Ninth Circuit agreed with Preap, that if the government were to hold Preap for deportation after his marijuana charge, they should have done so at the time of that charge, not years later.

The rule in question is 8 U.S. Code § 1226

Subsection C2 reads: The Attorney General shall take into custody any alien who is deportable under section 1227(a)(2)(A)(i) of this title on the basis of an offense for which the alien has been sentence [1] to a term of imprisonment of at least 1 year.

So now the SCOTUS is being asked to determine if ICE should have to detain these people immediately upon release, or if there is no such time restriction implied, and ICE can detain them whenever it decides to.

The conservative justices Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh didn’t give a flying fuck about Preap and his bullshit argument. They decided if Preap did the crime, that he can do the time, even if it’s years later.

I think everyone understands the opposition, here. A guy does a crime, and afterwards, goes back and largely lives a decent life, he shouldn’t have to live in fear the rest of his life that one day the government will roll up on his shit and be like, “Sorry sucker. You’re out!”

But nonetheless, the right wing five didn’t give two shits, and were not willing to prevent the government from doling out justice how they see fit.

Breyer wrote a dissenting opinion, essentially feeling that this interpretation opens up Pandora’s box for the federal government to use this tool down the road, to get rid of immigrants in general outside the normal scope of the law. He’s probably right, but he lost anyway. So it doesn’t matter.

Judgement 5:4 for Nielsen


Average Joe SCOTUS: Flowers v. Mississippi

Back in 1996, there was an armed robbery at the Tardy Furniture Store, and four people were killed. The petitioner in this case, and all around asshole Flowers was eventually tried in Mississippi and convicted for the robbery/homicide of one of the people, and sentences to death. Seriously, fuck that guy.

The court had allowed evidence the Mississippi Supreme Court (SCOM) felt was inadmissible related to the murder of the other three people, and dismissed the case.

So Mississippi tried him for the murder of a second victim, and did the same dumb shit, and the SCOM again dismissed on the same grounds, but those persistent prosecutors in Mississippi weren’t about to let this douchebag get off for murder, and went after him again a third time. They prosecuted him for the murder of all four, again found him guilty a third time, and again sentenced this mortherfucker to death.

We all know Mississippi has some race problems, and even if this motherfucker was guilty, these inept motherfuckers could fuck up a wet dream. The assholes in Mississippi went out of their way to exclude black jurors, since Flowers was black, and they thought black jurors might acquit, over recent racial tensions.

There were mistrials multiple times, and it wasn’t until the sixth trial this motherfucker AGAIN was convicted and sentenced to death. But of course you know, that isn’t the end of this shit.

Flowers was like, “these racist motherfuckers in Mississippi kept striking my brothers and sisters from the jury, denying me the right to a fair trial, and equal protection under the law. 6th and 14th amendments, y’all!”

So Flowers asked SCOM to step in, but they upheld the conviction. But then SCOTUS was like, “Wait a fucking minute. You’re joking, right SCOM? Look again, assholes. We already ruled on this shit in Batson v Kentucky. Maybe you’ve heard of it? You can’t just strike jurors because they’re fucking black.”

But SCOM was like, “Fuck you SCOTUS, this is a good conviction. The state fucking told you we had other reasons for striking those black jurors. This was a small ass town, and all those people knew either the defendant or the victims.”

While the lone black SCOTUS justice was one of two who dissented, (along with Gorsuch), and felt the non-race-based reasons were reasonable and potentially a legit reason for the state striking those jurors, the other seven justices sided with Flowers in ruling this was some racist bullshit. Judgement for Flowers.

Read about the case and/or hear oral arguments here.

Average Joe SCOTUS: Cochise Consultancy Inc. v. United States, ex rel. Hunt

We all remember that there were some warfare activities in Iraq, right? So because of all that, there were munitions scattered about the place everywhere, and that shit needed cleaned up.

So The Parsons Corporation were given a $60M government contract to find those munitions, and discard of them properly, back in 2006.

In the contract, Parsons had to provide adequate security for their employees, and they subcontracted that duty to a company called ArmorGroup, despite the fact that Cochise Consultancy (the petitioner here) had submitted a competitive bid.

As it turns out, this piece of shit for the Army Corps of Engineers named Wayne Shaw, had taken bribes, forged documents, threatened people, and shit like that to ensure Cochise got the bid over ArmorGroup, and eventually, his shady ass got the subcontract shifted to Cochise.

Once Cochise started, they were getting $1M more a month than ArmorGroup would have. Eventually, that shady dickhead Shaw got rotated away from Iraq, and Parsons put the contract out for bid again, eventually giving the bid back to ArmorGroup.

A Parson’s employee, Billy Joe Hunt, was involved in the corrupt scheme between Cochise and Parsons, and eventually in 2010, the FBI came knocking on his door, and he was quick to fess up, landing his ass in federal prison for ten months.

In order to encourage whistle blowers to blow some fucking whistles, the government allows for something called qui tam lawsuits under the False Claim Acts. It’s basically where a private person can sue a private party for defrauding the government, and then get 30% of the reward for doing it. As you can imagine, it encourages private people to report these scumbags, when they can get a reward for doing it.

So Hunt decided to go after Cochise and Parsons in 2013 to try to make some money. He was in federal prison for ten months, and was probably broke AF. So he saw an opportunity, and went for it.

But, unfortunately for Hunt, it was deemed past the statute of limitations by the time the FBI came after him, and he served his time. It had been seven years since the violations occurred, and of course Hunt knew about it all along.

The statute of limitations required it had to either be within six years of the violation, or three years after a government official knew about it, and the seven years exceeded both.

So a district court dismissed Hunt’s claim, but then a US Court of appeals disagreed, reversed, and sent it back, saying that Hunt was a Parson’s employee, and not a government official, therefore, the three year statute hadn’t been violated yet. The government had only recently found out, and they didn’t bother to intervene.

So as usual, two courts don’t agree, and SCOTUS here we come. Cochise of course didn’t like the Appeals Court ruling, so they sued to try to enforce the Statute of Limitations exclusion given by the lower court.

So SCOTUS were asked to resolve the idea that Hunt was not to be considered an acceptable person to “know about it” and start the clock on the three year statute of limitations.

SCOTUS told Cochise to go pound sand up their ass. Unanimous decision for Hunt. He wasn’t a government official, and acted within three years of a government official knowing about the fraud. Now fuck off and pay him you dirty fucks.

Hear oral arguments or read about the case here.



log·i·cal: capable of reasoning or of using reason in an orderly cogent fashion lib·er·tar·i·an: an advocate of the doctrine of free will; a person who upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action

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