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John Roberts, Class action, Class certification practice, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, Justiciability, Fraud-on-the-market cases


Since 2005, when John Roberts was appointed Chief Justice, there have been startling changes to the world of class actions. Jurisdictionally, the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 fundamentally reconfigured the allocation of class litigation between federal and state courts. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, the federal class action provision, has been amended three times in the Roberts years, once in a meaningful way. Our focus, however, is on what the Roberts Court has done in the class action world through its caselaw. On that score, we have a remarkable corpus. From Shady Grove Orthopedic Associates, P.A. v. Allstate Insurance Co. in 2010 through TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez in 2021, the Court has issued more than two dozen class action decisions, more than in any comparable period.

In a 2015 symposium article, I commented on the Court’s class action jurisprudence through the 2014 Term. The Court’s interest has not waned since, with fourteen decisions between 2015 and 2021. My purpose here is not to catalogue each of these newer cases. Rather, the goal is to offer a retrospective on Roberts Court decisions in three quite specific areas: (1) class certification practice under Rule 23, (2) “fraud-on-the-market” securities fraud litigation, and (3) the intersection of class practice and justiciability. These are not the only areas the Court has addressed and, arguably, are not even the most important. I choose them because they show different modes of engagement by the Court: revolution, evolution, and raising topics requiring future attention.

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Stetson Law Review


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