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Supreme Court to rule on Telecommunications Act, health care benefits in collective bargaining agreements

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in T-Mobile South v. City of Roswell [docket; cert. petition, PDF] to determine what it means to satisfy the Telecommunications Act's [text] "in writing" requirement. The court shall determine whether a state or local government document determining that an application to place, construct, or modify a personal wireless service facility has been denied, without providing any reason for the denial, satisfies the requirement that a denial of a petition be explained "in writing." Circuit courts are currently split four-to-two over the amount of writing required. Some courts require a sufficient explanation of the evaluation, while others find that a simple denial letter is adequate.

In M&G Polymers v. Tackett [docket, cert. petition, PDF], the court granted certiorari to examine how courts should presume silence over the duration of retiree health care benefits during collective bargaining agreements in Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) [text]. The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit holds that this silence indicates the parties' intentions for the benefits to continue indefinitely. Meanwhile, the Third Circuit requires an explicitly clear statement that health-care benefits are to survive beyond the termination of the collective bargaining agreement. The Second and Seventh Circuits require that, for health-care benefits to continue indefinitely, there must be at least some language in the agreement to reasonably support such an interpretation.

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