U.S. Supreme Court

Case Status


Docket Number


2010 Term

Oral Argument Date

March 29, 2011


Questions Presented

1. Whether claims for monetary relief can be certified under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2) and, if so, under what circumstances.

2. Whether the class certification ordered under Rule 23(b)(2) was consistent with Rule 23(a).

Case Updates

Supreme Court reverses certification of injunctive class action

June 20, 2011

In a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the certification of the plaintiff class - the largest employment class action in history - was not consistent with Rule 23(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP). As the Court explained, “Rule 23(a)(2) requires a party seeking class certification to prove that the class has common 'questions of law or fact.' Their claims must depend upon a common contention of such a nature that it is capable of class wide resolution.” According to the Court, the plaintiffs in this case failed to establish any common issue that is central to the validity of each one of the claims. The Court also unanimously ruled that the plaintiffs' backpay claims were improperly certified under Rule 23(b)(2) of the FRCP because there was not a single, indivisible remedy that would provide relief to each class member.

NCLC filed two briefs at the Supreme Court and five briefs in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in this case.

Amicus brief supporting cert. filed 9/24/10. Cert. granted 12/6/10.

Amicus brief on the merits filed 1/27/11. Decided 6/20/2011.

Case Documents