Bobby Chen Promises Supreme Court He Will Show Up This Time

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You may recall that Bobby Chen was possibly the only person in history to (1) convince the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his case and then (2) not show up. See "Could Someone Ask Bobby Chen to Call the U.S. Supreme Court?" (Dec. 20, 2014); "Supreme Court Litigant Fails to Show Up" (Jan. 12, 2015). The Court dismissed his case in January after he missed his filing deadline.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that Bobby has now resurfaced and has filed a petition for rehearing in which he explains that he has been in California until recently. The petition says that he left New York two days after the Court granted his petition (and so before he could have received notice by mail), and while in California he "suffered from a slip-and-fall injury" that marooned him there for two months. He had set up an e-mail account for Supreme Court messages, he says, but did not know he could check the Court's website at any time. Thus it was not until he returned to New York on January 22 that he was "surprised and dismayed" to learn he had missed the party.

As I predicted, Bobby has had no trouble finding someone to represent him for free, and in fact he's now being represented by Paul Clement, a former U.S. Solicitor General who has appeared before the Court somewhere around 70 times. My next out-on-a-limb prediction is that the Court will now grant the petition for rehearing, so that the world will learn the answer to the riveting question about the proper interpretation of Rule 4(m) that has been troubling so many of us for so long.