[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in two cases on Monday. In Spokeo v. Robins [docket], the court is asked [cert petition, PDF] to determine 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. Plaintiff Thomas Robins seeks statutory damages under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) [text] for a technical violation of the statute that did not cause him any harm. Robins alleges that defendant Spokeo, Inc. [corporate website], a persons search website, published false information about him. Under the Act, an individual may seek recovery for a bare violation. The case thus raises the constitutional issue of whether the Act confers standing on a plaintiff who alleges a violation of a federal statute but who does not allege any resulting injury.
In Green v. Donahoe [docket], the court is asked [cert petition, PDF] to determine whether, under federal employment discrimination law, the filing period for a constructive discharge claim begins to run when an employee resigns, as five circuits have held, or at the time of an employer’s last allegedly discriminatory act giving rise to the resignation, as three other circuits have held. The case was brought after the plaintiff, a former postmaster for the US Postal Service [official website], was turned down in 2008 for a promotion in favor of a Latino man. He filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) [official website] alleging race discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 [text], and the matter was eventually settled. Green alleges that he experienced what he perceived to be threats and harassment about his EEO filing.