The United States Supreme Court today issued a shocking sua sponte decision that has left the class action world scratching its collective head and searching for a backup plan. The 9-0 per curiam decision, titled, In re Fed. R. Civ. P. 23, 2008 S. Ct. 412008, is just two lines long: “In the interest of all that is decent, right, and good, this honourable Court holds Rule 23, Federal Rules of Procedure, unconstitutional in violation of the Twelfth and Twenty-Ninth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Until Congress finds a way to temper the sue-happy culture in which we now find ourselves, this Court is left no alternative than to abolish the abusive litigation tactics inherent in all cases filed under Rule 23.”
The decision can be downloaded at www.supremecourtrule23isunconstitutionalsostopbeingsosuehappy.gov, although efforts to access the site earlier in the day proved unsuccessful. According to AP radio reports, the site crashed when thousands of class action lawyers rushed to download a copy of the decision moments after its issuance.
Commentators immediately condemned the decision as rash, partisan, and illogical. However, I believe that it is important to keep one thing in mind before we rush to judgment. It is April Fools Day!