Although the Supreme Court has not issued any merits opinions on Sixth Circuit cases before the High Court since we covered M&G Polymers USA v. Tackett here, the Court did issue a new round of orders on Monday.
Most notably, the Court did not grant certiorari in any new cases. In particular, this means that that the Sixth Circuit’s decision in King Cole Foods v. United States will stand. There, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service disqualified the plaintiffs from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for violating SNAP’s regulations. The plaintiffs sought reversal of these sanctions, but the Sixth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the complaint.
Also on Monday, the Court heard oral argument in the Sixth Circuit case of Coleman v. Tollefson, which presents the Court with the issue of whether, under the “three strikes” provision of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g), a district court’s dismissal of a lawsuit counts as a “strike” while it is still pending on appeal or before the time for seeking appellate review has passed. In that case, the Sixth Circuit held that the district court “properly denied pauper status to [Coleman] in his civil suit, even though one of his three previous case dismissals (‘strikes’) was still on appeal when this case was brought.” With that decision, the Sixth Circuit joined the Seventh as the small minority in an 8-2 circuit split on the issue.
We will of course continue to monitor Coleman as it proceeds through the Supreme Court’s review, as well as the other cases out of the Sixth Circuit seeking review at SCOTUS.