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Case Dismissal: City of Hays v. Vogt (DIG May 29, 2018)

Court dismisses City of Hays v. Vogt as “improvidently granted.”

A “DIG” is what the cool kids call it – Dismissed as Improvidently Granted. It means the Court shouldn’t have accepted the case in the first place. That was the fate of City of Hays v. Vogt yesterday.

The Supreme Court takes only a small percentage of cases that request its review. Each year 7,000-8,000 petitions are filed, and the Court hears about 80 cases. The Justices vote on whether to hear a given case, and they take into account certain factors. The factors formally identified (in the Court’s Rule 10) include: whether courts around the nation are split on the issue; and whether the case presents an “important federal question.”

Basically that means the Court wants to help resolve confusion around the nation, and it wants to do so on important questions – questions that might emerge again or affect a lot of people.

What came out in oral arguments, though, about City of Hays, was that the case had some unusual facts, it was unclear on the facts (some facts that would have been nice to know weren’t in the record), and it was just such an unusual context for applying the 5th Amendment that resolving the issue could have made either bad precedent, or confusing precedent.

So the Court ditched it. Sorry, City of Hays, your loss will stand.

About the Author

Mariam Morshedi

Mariam Morshedi

Mariam Morshedi is the Founder and Executive Director of Subscript Law. Before starting Subscript Law, she practiced civil rights law for AARP Foundation, where she litigated housing, consumer and disability rights issues.

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