[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] granted certiorari [order list, PDF] Monday in five cases. In Mach Mining v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [docket; cert. petition, PDF] the court will consider whether and to what extent a court may enforce the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) [official website] mandatory duty to conciliate discrimination claims before filing suit. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 directs the EEOC to try to negotiate [42 USC § 2000e-5(b)] an end to an employer's unlawful employment practices before suing for a judicial remedy. Mach Mining sought dismissal of the EEOC's suit on the ground that the agency failed to engage in good-faith conciliation before filing. The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled [opinion] that "an alleged failure to conciliate is not an affirmative defense to the merits of a discrimination suit."
In Mellouli v. Holder [docket; cert. petition, PDF] the court will determine whether the government must prove the connection between a drug paraphernalia conviction and a substance listed in section 802 of the Controlled Substances Act [text] in order to trigger deportability under 8 USC § 1227(a)(2)(B)(i) [text]. Under that provision, a non-citizen may be removed if he has been convicted of violating "any law or regulation of a State, the United States, or a foreign country relating to a controlled substance (as defined in section 802 of Title 21)." Moones Mellouli, a citizen of Tunisia and a lawful permanent resident of the US, petitioned for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals that he was removable because his July 2010 conviction for violating a Kansas drug paraphernalia statute was a conviction "relating to a controlled substance." The US Court of Appeals for the Eighty Circuit upheld [opinion] the BIA's application of the "relates to" provision and denied the petition for review.
In United States v. Wong [docket; cert. petition, PDF] the court will decide whether the six-month time bar for filing suit in federal court under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 USC § 2401(b) [text], is subject to equitable tolling. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held [opinion] "that § 2401(b) is not 'jurisdictional,' and that equitable tolling is available under the circumstances presented in this case."
In United States v. June [docket; cert. petition, PDF] the court will consider a similar question: "Whether the two-year time limit for filing an administrative claim with the appropriate federal agency under the Federal Tort Claims Act ... is subject to equitable tolling." The Ninth Circuit reached the same conclusion [opinion] in light of its ruling in Wong.
In Gelboim v. Bank of America Corporation [docket; cert. petition, PDF] the court will determine whether and in what circumstances the dismissal of an action that has been consolidated with other suits is immediately appealable. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit determined [PDF] "sua sponte that it lack[ed] jurisdiction over these appeals because a final order ha[d] not been issued by the district court as contemplated by 28 USC § 1291 [text], and the orders appealed from did not dispose of all claims in the consolidated action."