The Laboratorium: Inside Judge Chin's Opinion
Connotea Imports 2012-07-31
"[T]he opinion is cagey as to which of these are...legal rationales, and which are just policy arguments. I can imagine two reasons for this caginess. The first is that Judge Chin deliberately wrote a minimalist opinion. If hard cases make bad law, then perhaps big cases make strange law. It may be Judge Chin resolved this one on a relatively narrow basis so he could avoid the need to make detailed rulings on dozens of different issues at once in the context of a highly unusual case. The other possibility is that the ultimate legal question Judge Chin faces — is the settlement “fair, adequate, and reasonable?” (14) — is a flexible all-things-considered standard. His point, then, is not that there are a dozen reasons why the settlement must be rejected, but rather that there are a dozen important considerations all tipping against the settlement, which, taken together add up to an easy call: reject...."