July 09, 2016 Articles

Shorthanded SCOTUS Hands a Victory to Data Aggregation Site—For Now

The Spokeo opinion reads as a compromise that sought to avoid a 4–4 decision.

by Ashley Bruce Trehan and Kenneth L. Racowski

“[E]ven if you are given a right to the procedure, that alone does not suffice for standing.” “[I]t has to be something more than just the violation of . . . what Congress says is a legal right.” Transcript of Oral Argument at 57, Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016) (No. 13-1339). At the November 2, 2015, oral argument in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, Justice Antonin Scalia stated these characteristically firm opinions, among others, about the plaintiff’s statutory claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), leaving no room for doubt that, in his mind, that plaintiff’s case has no place in federal court.

After all, this is one of many “no injury” statutory class actions brought in federal court based on a technical violation of a consumer protection statute.

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