NAME: Mount Lemmon Fire District v. Guido et al
JOINING: Roberts, Breyer, Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Sotomayor, Kagan
Case CommentaryThis case revolves around the proper interpretation of a simple phrase.
I agree with a unanimous Court. And the Court agrees with the Court of Appeals. So in many ways, I'm at a loss why this is even a Supreme Court case.
Well, it is because if you stare at words long enough, they get confusing and one in a hundred (or a thousand or whatever) interpretations will be wrong. Still, upon review, (nearly) every reasonable person will wind up agreeing that the words mean what the words say.
More ImportantlyAs the case is so straightforward (and thus, I presume, why the Supreme Court decided to start the year with it), precious little of the underlying lawsuit is discussed. But that will not stop me from guessing (and this is pure conjecture) that as a result of the ruling (quite straightforward, even if it did take six pages to explain), two fire fighters will likely (as what do I know) get back pay, retirement benefits, and maybe even punitive damages.
Now, I am not going to say the firemen (I believe they are both men) are not entitled to compensation. But that compensation does not arise magically out of thin air. It will come from taxpayers... who had no (direct) part in their termination.
So, although it might be fair that the firemen receive compensation, is it fair for the taxpayers to have to pay it?
And really, in an ideal world, would these two men (simply) not have gotten their jobs back once everyone realized the mistake?