Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tracking the Congressional Response to Iqbal

Last week's Senate hearings regarding the impact of Iqbal and Twombly (see posts here and here) were in aid of the Notice Pleading Restoration Act of 2009, S. 1504. The pending bill is reproduced here on the GPO website in PDF. The bill is mentioned in Senator Feingold's opening statement.

There are several new ways to track pending bills in Congress. You might be interested in using or Both allow for the free tracking of individual bills. You can see previous posts about these Web 2.0 tools here on LLRX, and here and here. Unfortunately, Thomas, while providing a feed for a daily digest and for Senate and House floor action, is not yet providing feeds for individual bills.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Senate Considers Iqbal Impact

Hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee began last week to determine if legislative action would be appropriate to overturn the USSC rulings in Ashcroft v. Iqbal and its predecessor, Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly. You can find the relevant Judiciary Committee page here. Look to the right hand column to see links to PDFs of the recently posted prepared testimony before the Committee.

Look here for a post that contains excerpts from the hearings regarding the overall impact of Iqbal and Twombly. One witness went to far as to say that the decisions were "an assault on our democratic principles" (from the prepared testimony of John Payton, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund).

Interestingly, the testimony of Gregory Garre, former Solicitor General, addresses the actual impact of Iqbal on cases pending in federal court. That impact was also discussed here in a previous post.

Garre makes reference to and provides a link to the preliminary report prepared by its Rules Law Clerk for the Civil Rules Committee and the Standing Rules Committee Concerning the “Application of Pleading Standards Post-Ashcroft v. Iqbal.” Unfortunately, the link that Garre give to the report is broken ( Nov30.pdf.). Garre, in his testimony, maintains that it is too early to judge the effect of Iqbal.

Iqbal is apparently of sufficient interest and potential impact, however, that a Committee was established to study its effects...