Issue: Standards for Class Certification
Court: U.S. Supreme Court

Term: October 2016
Oral Argument: March 21, 2017
Vote: 8-0
Opinion: Justice Ginsburg
Lower Court: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Question Presented:
Whether a federal court of appeals has jurisdiction under both Article III and 28 U.S.C §1291 to review an order denying class certification after the named plaintiffs voluntarily dismiss their individual claims with prejudice.

RLC's Position:
The RLC joined a brief on the merits asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reject the Ninth Circuit's voluntary dismissal rule, which allows plaintiffs to take an immediate appeal of an order denying class certification that the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed with prejudice. The Ninth Circuit's rule suffers from two significant failings.  First, it does not satisfy Article III's standing requirements. Second, the Ninth Circuit’s standard contravenes the Federal Rules because it undermines the authority of the circuit courts of appeals to decide when class certification orders may be reviewed and because it provides plaintiffs with an additional avenue for appealing a class certification order that is not available to defendants under the Federal Rules. 

Case Outcome:
The Court held that federal courts of appeals lack jurisdiction under §1291 to review an order denying class certification after the named plaintiffs have voluntarily dismissed their claims with prejudice. 

Procedural History and Case Documents: