Brett Stuff
Judging the Judges
Term Year: 2018

Parker Drilling Management Services, ltd., Petitioner v. Brian Newton

Summary Analysis

DATE: 2019-06-10
DOCKET: 18-389
NAME: Parker Drilling Management Services, ltd., Petitioner v. Brian Newton

   AUTHOR: Thomas
   JOINING: Roberts, Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito, Sotomayor, Kagan, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh
   GOOD: No

Case Commentary

All Nine Justices agree.

All Nine Justices are wrong.

Actually, now that I reason it out, I think the Opinion is technically correct... but horribly written, which is as good as reason as any not to like it.

The Federal Minimum Wage sets a floor, but States can raise that floor.

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act enacts State Law on the Continental Shelf 'to the extent that they are applicable and not inconsistent with other Federal Law.'

Clearly, a higher State Minimum Wage is consistent; and as such, should apply.

I say the case was written poorly, because the Minimum Wage is a non-issue. Mr Newton was paid at a rate above both the Federal and State Minimum Wage. So, any conflict between the two is meaningless.

On the other hand, Federal Law does not require pay for Standby Time, whereas California Law does. But in a conflict (on an offshore drilling platform), Federal Law takes precedence.

So, it turns out The Court is right (as this idiot, non-lawyer sees it), as the case is about Minimum Wage for Standby Time. But as the rules concerning Standby Time are all that matter (in that if Standby Time is disallowed by a Federal Law which takes precedence), all discussion concerning Minimum Wage is meaningless.

But then, since I disagree with the Minimum Wage discussion, I will be calling this a Bad Decision.

As I see it (and really, no one cares what I think about anything, so take it all with a grain of salt), The Court has decided (in the realm of Offshore Drilling) that State Law can fill a void but not fine tune a point of Law. But as there is no objective way to differentiate between the Filling of a Void in the Law and the Fine Tuning of a Law, no future guidance has been provided.

Still, since the discussion on Minimum wage is moot, The Court's decision is correct, even if it's discussion and rationale is completely off base.

Maybe that does not hit hard enough?
Much of our prior discussion... would make little sense...
Nailed it!

There is absolutely no need to qualify that statement any further. I think that sums my feelings up about the Rule of Law completely: Much of it makes little sense.

Judging the Judges

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