No. 01-706 Sprietsma v. Mercury Marine
This case is about whether a decision by the Coast Guard not to require propeller guards on boats preempts a common law state claim that a boat manufacturer was negligent for construction of a boat without a propeller guard. The Supreme Court of Illinois found that the state-law claim was preempted, despite language in the Federal Boat Safety Act that purports to reserve all common law claims. I think that the Court will REVERSE the Supreme Court of Illinois. Congress expressed its intent not to preempt state common-law tort claims in the language of the act. I do not think the court will be sympathetic to the argument that the express intent of Congress is overruled by the negative regluatory decision of the Coast Guard.
No. 01-757 Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc. v. Henson
This is a complicated civil procedure case. Rather, it is a simple civil procedure case, but all civil procedure cases seem to have extremely complicated procedural history. The question presented is whether the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a), grants original jurisdiction to federal district courts under 28 U.S.C. §1441 to remove a case that it would otherwise be unable to remove. The Eleventh Circuit held that it does not. I think that the Court will not find that the All Writs Act is an independent grant of original jurisdiction. The Court therefore will AFFIRM.
Chief Justice Rehnquist also personally signs letters acknowledging clerkship applications.