We read about cases in the Supreme Court, especially on so-called sexy topics like gay rights, abortion rights, or occasionally voting rights. But what about the rest of the cases the Court decides each term? And how often do you actually read the Court’s analysis (the opinion)?
This week we take a look at a big decision that the Court made last week, and our infographic makes the analysis easier to comprehend. Unless you are an avid follower of civil rights law, you might not have heard about it. The case started with the City of Miami suing two banks: Bank of America and Wells Fargo. Sounds big enough, right? Miami claimed the banks discriminated against minorities in issuing home financing loans.
The reason it’s hard to get interested in some of these cases, despite their importance, is that by the time a case reaches the Supreme Court, the question that the Court decides is too abstract. For example, in this case, the Supreme Court is not deciding whether the banks actually discriminated. That part of the case hasn’t gotten started yet. The Supreme Court is asked to rule on preliminary matters – whether the case meets certain requirements so that it can even get started with trial.
This is the stuff that matters. It decides whether a litigation can get off the ground – whether we might hear (potentially years down the line) that Bank of America and Wells Fargo decided to settle a lawsuit for X million dollars. Does the case have legs?
We take you through the legal elements using our same infographic (the hierarchy of our government) in the context of the case. And just so you know the ending (this is not a movie, ok?) – the Supreme Court said the case is valid… at least for the most part.