Alison Frankel wrote an overview yesterday of a fascinating jurisdictional argument arising out of CAFA in the upcoming Supreme Court case of Standard Fire v. Knowles. The argument appears in an amicus brief filed by Jones Day on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers. Frankel credits Jeffrey Mandell of Jones Day with developing the argument.
The basic claim is that a CAFA provision that relaxes prior limits on removal (Section 5 of CAFA, at 28 U.S.C. § 1453) provides a statutory basis for federal jurisdiction over class actions removed from state court, regardless of whether those class actions satisfy all the requirements for original jurisdiction in the CAFA provision that expands original jurisdiction (Section 4 of CAFA, at 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)).
To evaluate the argument, one needs to dive into the details. For example, § 1453 contains no mention of either complete diversity or minimal diversity. Is the provision best read it as a broad jurisdictional grant that is unconstitutional whenever there is no minimal diversity? I hope to explore this and other issues in the future, for a first review of the brief indicates that the argument is worth pursuing. Kudos to Mandell and the lawyers at Jones Day.