By Brian Wolfman
In an order issued yesterday, November 6, the Supreme Court asked (read: required) the Solicitor General to express the views of the United States in an important preemption case from the Second Circuit, Riegel v. Medtronic. The Court will consider the S.G.'s views before deciding whether to grant certiorari. The question in Riegel is whether the Medical Device Amendments to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act preempt state-law suits seeking damages for injuries from medical devices that have received FDA pre-market approval. The circuits have been split on this question for seven years, and the state appellate courts are split as well. My colleague, Allison Zieve, is the plaintiff's lead counsel. Allison blogged about the case on October 19, and many of the key documents from the case are contained in that post. In addition, SCOTUSblog reporter extraordinaire Lyle Denniston provided an excellent report yesterday on Riegel after the Supreme Court issued its "SG-advise" order. If history is any guide, the S.G. will file his brief no earlier than May 2007.