Is More Supreme Court Review of ERISA Standards of Review in the Works?

With lawyers, how we view an opinion, and for that matter a blog post, frequently depends on the focus of our practices and the things that, as a result, we are looking for. I was reminded of this over the weekend when I came across this post on Appellate Law and Practice, a blog run by a self described group of federal law clerks and appellate lawyers who post about the recent decisions in the circuit courts of appeals that they cover. Being appellate practice oriented folk, a central aspect of their take on my recent posts about Janeiro and the contrary opinion, Abatie, out of the Ninth Circuit was to note that the two cases, and my posts on them, demonstrate a split in the circuits on the issues addressed in the two decisions.

Which was interesting because one of the things that jumped out at me right off the bat about the Ninth Circuit's decision in Abatie, a decision I discussed in detail here and here, but did not previously comment on, is that in reading it, one can almost see the court and its clerks targeting a spot on the Supreme Court's docket. From the detailed presentation of the interaction of the decision with current Supreme Court precedent, to the almost scholarly review of the various approaches of other circuits, it reads like an invitation to the Supreme Court to weigh in yet again on the standard of review and conflict of interest questions still open under current Supreme Court jurisprudence.