Update on Naranjo in the Supreme Court
Posted on August 2, 2012
Chevron filed its petition on May 25. There are three pending motions for leave to file briefs as amici curiae on behalf of Chevron by:
The Lago Agrio plaintiffs have filed their opposition to the petition. So far no amici have sought to file briefs on behalf of Naranjo.
It seems to me kind of obvious that the Declaratory Judgment Act should be read to allow claims seeking a declaration that a judgment is not entitled to recognition or enforcement under the UFCMJRA. The Lago Agrio plaintiffs’ basic argument is that the policy of the UFCMJRA is in favor of recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, and thus the Declaratory Judgment Act shouldn’t be read to permit preemptive challenges. But does this make much sense? The policy of the UFCMJRA is that judgments should be enforced, but not fraudulent judgments, just as the policy of the common law is that contracts should be enforced, but not fraudulent contracts, or the policy of the patent statutes is that patents should be enforced, but not invalid patents. But that being said, given that the Lago Agrio plaintiffs apparently do not plan to seek recognition and enforcement of the Ecuadoran judgment in the United States, it seems to me that there are very strong reasons of comity to think that the Second Circuit got the outcome right. Might the Supreme Court grant cert. to correct the Second Circuit’s reasoning as to the scope of the Declaratory Judgment Act? We’ll see.