Supreme Court says class actions under Securities Act of 1933 are for state courts

The result today in Cyan v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund is interesting, particularly given the legislative trend to provide forum choice to defendants in aggregate litigation (which usually means federal court, because big companies generally prefer federal court). The issues and the Supreme Court's unanimous holding are crisply stated in the first paragraph of Justice Kagan's opinion:

This case presents two questions about the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 (SLUSA), 112 Stat. 3227. First, did SLUSA strip state courts of jurisdiction over class actions alleging violations of only the Securities Act of 1933 (1933 Act), 48 Stat. 74, as amended, 15 U. S. C. §77a et seq.? And second, even if not, did SLUSA empower defendants to remove such actions from state to federal court? We answer both questions no.

At oral argument, Justice Alito complained that the relevant statutory language was "gibberish" — which then caused other people to use the word, for nine total uses of "gibberish." I'm guessing that's the record for use of the word "gibberish" in a Supreme Court oral argument. In any case, Justice Kagan's opinion indicates that she thought the relevant language was pretty clear.

Defendants will seek a legislative overrule. Will Congress give it to them?

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