Today, CCL filed its reply brief in City of Miami Gardens v. Wells Fargo & Co., pending on a writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court. Representing Miami Gardens, CCL argues that Wells Fargo distorts the record in attempting to avoid review in the Supreme Court.

      When the case was before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, that court raised a new issue that had not been briefed or before the district court just before oral argument. That issue, whether there was record evidence of the City's injuries from allegedly discriminatory mortgage loans the bank had made, had not been part of the threshold inquiry that the district court had limited itself to. Because the district failed to permit discovery on that issue, CCL's Robert Peck argued that the issue was not ripe from review and instead remained at the pleadings stage, where allegations were sufficient. 

     Nonetheless, the appellate court ruled that it was a fair inquiry and held that Miami Gardens lacked Article III standing to pursue its case. CCL then sought rehearing en banc, arguing that this procedural tactic had been condemned by the U.S. Supreme Court in Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama (2015). The Eleventh Circuit denied review, but the original panel wrote an extensive defense of its use of the procedural device. Two judges on the Eleventh Circuit dissented from the denial of rehearing en banc, likening the situation to a teacher who confiscated a student's pencil before an exam and then penalized the student for turning in a blank sheet of paper.

     CCL petitioned for certiorari, and Wells Fargo opposed. The International Municipal Lawyers Association filed an amicus brief in support of the petition. Today's filing responded to the Wells Fargo brief. The case is expected to be reviewed by the Supreme Court at its January 8 conference.