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2nd Cir News: Chevron Trial Begins, Conn. Officials Appeal to SCOTUS

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on October 16, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The government may be in a partial shutdown, but the Second Circuit is alive and well, with two cases with big repercussions making moves in the judicial system.

State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition v. Rowland

On Friday, Connecticut officials submitted a petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court, asking it to review a Second Circuit decision that could have a national ripple effect on the relationship between state governments and their unionized work force, reports The Associated Press.

As a result of a 2002 budget crisis in Connecticut, then Governor Rowland laid off 2,800 state employees based on their union membership, reports The AP. The union leadership sued, and the district court dismissed their First Amendment claims, and granted defendants' motion for summary judgment. On appeal, the Second Circuit reversed the district court's decision.

The Second Circuit, noting that only union members were laid off, held that the layoff violated the union members' "First Amendment right of freedom of association with labor unions," according to The AP. Daniel Klau, lawyer for former Gov. Rowland stated: "We think that the case is incredibly important because the 2nd Circuit's decision fundamentally changes the balance of power between management and labor in the public sector," reports the AP.

In a 289-page petition, the Connecticut officials have asked the Supreme Court to review the Second Circuit's opinion. This case may be particularly relevant now with states facing budget cuts and layoffs, it will be interesting to see if the Supreme Court decides to grant cert.

Chevron Trial Commences This Week

A group of Ecuadorian villagers won an $18 billion judgment against Chevron, in Ecuadorian court, for environmental contamination and pollution that occurred in the Amazon jungle. This week, trial between the two parties is beginning yet again as Chevron tries to convince a district judge for the Southern District of New York that the $18 billion judgment was awarded as a result of bribery.

While Chevron claims that the judgment is a result of fraud, a spokesperson for the Ecuadorian villagers says the claims are "baseless," reports Reuters. We'll see whom the court finds more convincing.

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