Brief Fact Summary. The Plaintiff – Petitioner, Plaut (Petitioner), sued the Defendant –
Respondent, Spendthrift Farm (Respondent), under Section: 10 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the Act). The suit was dismissed for not being filed in a timely fashion.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Congress may not require the federal courts to reopen a case after a court has rendered final judgment.
Issue. May Congress require Article III courts to reopen cases on which they have passed judgment?
Held. No. Appeals court ruling affirmed.
Congress may pass retroactive legislation that affects cases still pending appeal. However, this amendment requires cases to resume prosecution after judgment has been rendered.
A judgment “conclusively resolves the case.” The statute in question offends this postulate.
Discussion. Justice Antonin Scalia (J. Scalia) argues Congress has violated the separation of the judicial and legislative powers, by requiring courts to set aside final judgments, which the framers of the constitution envisioned as dispositive.