Early reports from today’s Supreme Court oral argument in Merrill Lynch v. Dabit (see post below) suggest that the Second Circuit may be reversed. The justices evidently were skeptical that Congress, in passing SLUSA, meant to allow holders to bring a securities class action in state court, while forcing purchasers and sellers to bring the same case in federal court. Dow Jones Newswires (via wsj.com – subscrip. req’d) and the Financial Times (via MSNBC.com) have articles, while the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog gets a first-hand report from a law professor who attended the hearing.
Quote of note (Financial Times): “Justice Stephen Breyer said he was worried that permitting such suits in state court would allow investors to circumvent the limits imposed by federal securities laws on purchaser and seller suits. Mr. Breyer said nothing would stop them from proceeding in state court, simply by filing their suits as holders rather than sellers. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg asked: ‘Why would Congress with respect to this category want there to be a more plaintiff-friendly rule than it put in place for the purchaser-seller?'”