NEW ORLEANS – The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals denied BP’s motion to keep a stay in place to block thousands of business claims payments while the oil giant appeals its settlement to the U.S. Supreme Court.There's a SCOTUS appeal pending, of course. And that leads us to perhaps the most perfect passage in this whole ongoing saga.
But that does not mean the payments can start flowing again. The appeals court usually takes seven days to issue a mandate lifting the stay, and that seven days typically starts with the court's last ruling on the matter.
The ruling Tuesday was not unexpected. The same appeals court had just shot down BP’s effort to reinterpret its multi-billion-dollar claims settlement with private businesses. BP had argued that more than 1,000 undeserving businesses had been paid by the settlement’s court-appointed claims administrator.
BP has a potentially powerful ally in that effort. The Supreme Court justice assigned to the 5th Circuit is Antonin Scalia. He has granted such special injunctions in the past, in one case acting on his own to delay a settlement payment for eight months, even though the Supreme Court ended up not agreeing to hear the case.Because of course all of the players here are inappropriately interrelated in all sorts of ways.
Also, Scalia’s son, Eugene, is a partner at Gibson Dunn, the law firm representing BP in its appeal.
Keep that in mind as you pick through the latest AZ post featuring interview segments with ousted DHECC attorney Lionel Sutton.