Average Joe SCOTUS – Rimini Street, Inc. v. Oracle USA, Inc.

Rimini Street Inc (RSI) was a software support company. Oracle, the makers of a software RSI supported. Rimini tried their best to honor Oracle’s copyrights, but Oracle felt RSI was using their shit without their consent in a way they’d have never agreed to.

Oracle sued, and won, for copyright infringement. But this isn’t the nature of the SCOTUS case. What RSI wanted, was a partial refund on the judgement. Oracle had been awarded legal fees, such as money for expert witness testimony and shit like that.

Based on 17 U.S.C. § 505, it says that litigants can recover “full costs” and then goes on to define them in “28 U.S. Code § 1920.Taxation of costs” as shown below in a post from Cornell.

A judge or clerk of any court of the United States may tax as costs the following:

(1) Fees of the clerk and marshal;
(2) Fees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts necessarily obtained for use in the case;
(3) Fees and disbursements for printing and witnesses;
(4) Fees for exemplification and the costs of making copies of any materials where the copies are necessarily obtained for use in the case;
(5) Docket fees under section 1923 of this title;
(6) Compensation of court appointed experts, compensation of interpreters, and salaries, fees, expenses, and costs of special interpretation services under section 1828 of this title.

So now Rimini was all like, show me in 28 U.S. Code § 1920 where it says a single fucking thing about attorney fees, expert witness fees, and shit like that!

Oracle was all like, “See you in court, bitches!”

As usual, SCOTUS thinks the Ninth circuit are a bunch of fucking morons. When they ruled in Twentieth Century Fox v. Entertainment Distribution that “All costs” means “All costs” instead of just the costs outlined above in 28 U.S. Code § 1920, they must’ve been stoned AF.

9:0 Judgement for Rimini Street Inc.

Average Joe SCOTUS – Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt

Gilbert P. Hyatt was an inventor in the IT industry. Eventually, he invented some shit that was actually useful and the cash started rolling in.

Hyatt lived in California, and I don’t think we need to talk about the way the California tax code rapes the people who live there. Hyatt decided he didn’t want to be a victim, and fled to glorious Nevada. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas—including Hyatt’s income, or so he thought.

Some communist California official saw articles on Hyatt back in 1993, specifically how much cash he was rolling in, and was like, “I want me some of that!” Communists LOVE other people’s money.

So when this douche-bag from California saw Hyatt had left California, they went about harassing the hell out of him. Claimed he owed 4.5 million-ish in taxes and penalties to the state of California. They felt like his apartment in Nevada was just to avoid paying California taxes, and that he still really resided in California, presumably living with someone else or something to make it look like he didn’t really live there. Side note:  If that’s true, he’s my hero.

Hyatt sued California in his new home state of Nevada saying they were harassing him, and that he didn’t owe them a fucking dime. As a matter of fact, he wanted them to pay him pain and suffering and shit.

Apparently Nevada REALLY doesn’t like California, because they awarded Hyatt $85M for emotional distress, $52M for invasion of privacy, and $250M in punitive damages. $387 million dollars, y’all!

California was all like, “this is some bullshit! State sovereignty motherfuckers! Do you speak it?”

State sovereignty has a history in English law, which was basically to protect the king from being sued, because those crooked-tooth motherfuckers thought the king was more perfect than Sofia Vergara’s face (which science has proved impossible).

How state sovereignty in the United States is even a thing is pretty ridiculous. It’s about as un-American as a French accent.

But back in 1793, a dude from South Carolina in Chisholm v. Georgia sued Georgia for unpaid war debts. The SCOTUS of that time ruled for Chisholm, and left Georgia pretty fucking pissed.

So pissed in fact, that Georgia convinced other states that people were going to start suing the fuck out of them, too. So scared were those twats, that a couple years later, they amended the constitution with #11.

The intent was basically to say that the federal government couldn’t tell the states how to run their state—basically, mind your own fucking business, feds. But it also became clear that the states were somehow granting themselves the right to determine if they could be sued or not. Like that’s not a conflict of interest or anything.

So back to this wily mother fucker Hyatt. There was another suit Nevada v. Hall in 1979 that basically said one citizen of one state can sue another. They ruled 11a was merely to tell the federal government to stay out of it, but states could sue other states all they wanted. Now current SCOTUS was being asked to overrule that shit.

The right wing of current SCOTUS proving that they’re not the limited government people you think they are, decided that the old 1979 SCOTUS were a bunch of out of touch old geezers, and overruled those motherfuckers 5:4. Hell, most of them are dead anyway, what are they going to do about it?

The left-wing of SCOTUS dissented. It wasn’t so much that they were proving that they’re not the communists they think they are, but instead, that they think overruling a previous SCOTUS is in bad taste and leads to instability and insecurity within the court system.

Judgement for California. Too bad, so sad, Hyatt.

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