Petitions / Supreme Court Activity

Here is an update on recent activity at the Supreme Court in cases decided by the Federal Circuit. With respect to granted cases, there is no new activity to report since our last update. While no new petitions were filed with the Court, a reply brief was filed in a case addressing the Fair Labor Standards Act. Here are the details.

Granted Cases

There is no new activity to report.

Petition Cases

New Reply

In Martin v. United States, a Fair Labor Standards Act case, Martin filed his reply brief. The petition presented the following question:

  • “Do either the Anti-Deficiency Act or the Gov­ernment Employee Fair Treatment Act dis­place, modify or require a special narrower interpretation of the obligations created by the FLSA insofar as those obligations apply to federal employees?”

In its brief in opposition, the government argued “the FLSA does not expressly address the timing of wage payments ‘at all.’” According to the government, although the Supreme Court has “recognized an implicit prompt-payment requirement,” the Court has also “held that the statute ‘does not require the impossible.’” Thus, the government asserted, “when it is infeasible to make payments on an employee’s regularly scheduled payday, employers comply with the FLSA by making the required payments ‘as soon as convenient or practicable.’” According to the government, “[p]etitioners do not address this Court’s long-held understanding of the FLSA’s implicit promptness requirement.”

Now, in his reply brief, Martin asserts that, “[i]f the Federal Circuit is correct, the ADA ‘controls’ any statute which is less specific.” Thus, according to Martin, “[a]ny statute that ‘does not require the impossible’ would give way to the impossibility that the Federal Circuit perceives is created by the ADA.” Martin argues the government interprets the FLSA as “necessarily different with regard to federal workers” due to “the interaction of the FLSA and the Anti-Deficiency Act.” Thus, according to Martin, the Federal Circuit’s decision “requires that federal laws be given a special interpretation to conform to the ADA, even if that results in an interpretation that would not apply to any other defendant covered by the statute.”