Supreme Court to hear argument today in important consumer case

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear this morning in Spokeo v. Robins, a case with important implications for a range of consumer protection statutes. The question before the Court, as framed by the company, is "Whether Congress may confer Article III standing upon a plaintiff who suffers no concrete harm, and who therefore could not otherwise invoke the jurisdiction of a federal court, by authorizing a private right of action based on a bare violation of a federal statute." Behind that question is the debate over whether Congress can create a statutory right, the violation of which constitutes injury that satisfies the standing requirements of Article III, as the Court has previously defined those requirements.

The LA Times reported on the story yesterday. Read "Supreme Court case pits privacy rights against Internet data brokers," here.

SCOTUSBlog's Amy Howe sums up the stakes this way:

The dispute before the Justices is about whether [Robins's] lawsuit can proceed at all, and the stakes are potentially quite high.  The defendant in the case, Spokeo, complains that allowing lawsuits like these will have dire consequences, opening the door to all kinds of frivolous class action lawsuits.  But plaintiff Thomas Robins and his supporters predict equally ominous results, telling the Court that a ruling for Spokeo could bar not only lawsuits like his but also potentially important civil rights and environmental lawsuits.

Her full blog post is a good summary of the arguments in the case.

Among the 17 amicus briefs filed in support of the company and 16 filed in support of the plaintiff is Public Citizen's amicus brief in support of Robins, posted here.

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