Court holds that the Department of Labor needed a more reasoned explanation for its decision to depart from the existing enforcement policy. Instead, it said almost nothing.
The issue was whether service advisors at car dealerships are "salesmen" for purposes of the FLSA's overtime exemption; the service advisors had argued that they are not and can get overtime, while the car dealerships had argued that they are.
This was the final decision today. I am told that there are several very large groups of attorneys waiting to be sworn into the Supreme Court bar today, so it could be some time before we hear anything more about additional decision days later this week. Right now the Court is not scheduled to sit again until next Monday, 6/27, but the Court could add additional days.
In Encino, Justices Thomas and Alito object, in partial dissent, to the Court's decision to "punt" on the underlying question of whether the employees in the case are exempt or not.
Note that Strieff is yet another case where Justice Breyer has sided with the Court's more conservative members in rejecting a Fourth Amendment argument by a criminal defendant.
Given that Scalia had started siding with the Court's more liberal wing on some of these questions, Breyer is unquestionably the swing vote here, and even the appointment of someone to the left of Sotomayor (which does not describe, for example, Judge Garland) will not change that. Breyer doesn't have the same kind of organized, rule-based approach to issues like the Fourth Amendment. So this could be a pretty herky-jerky area of the law in years to come.
The Justices have now apparently left the bench, so hopefully we will have more info about extra decision days, if any, in a moment.
Just to be clear, we did NOT get decisions today in Dollar General, Fisher v. UT-Austin, Birchfield v. North Dakota, Voisine v. US, Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, McDonnell v. US, US v. Texas, or Mathis v. US. And the Justices are done issuing decisions for today.
Here's Lyle again. There will be opinions again on Thursday of this week.
I am going to get to work on RJR Nabisco v. European Community, but hopefully others will stay to answer questions. We will be back on Thursday morning at 9:30 to see what opinions the Court has for us. Thanks for joining us!