The United States Supreme Court today issued an order inviting the U.S. Solicitor General to file a brief on the pending cert petition filed in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, which is on appeal from the Ninth Circuit. The issue in Spokeo is whether Congress may confer Article III standing upon a plaintiff who suffers no concrete harm and who therefore could not otherwise invoke the jurisdiction of a federal court, by authorizing a private right of action based on a bare violation of a federal statute (i.e., the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in Spokeo).
Many observers believed that the Court would issue its ruling on the cert petition today. A grant of the petition potentially could have monumental implications for pending cases in the consumer financial services space, particularly no-damage class actions filed under the FCRA. Instead, it may be months before the Court rules on the petition. Moreover, whether the Solicitor General will support cert is yet to be seen.