Devlin v. Scardelletti, 536 U.S. 1, 22 (2002)

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Scalia, J., dissenting

umph of hope over experience.5 And as for the suggestion that the court of appeals can pass on these questions just as easily: Since when has it become a principle of our judicial administration that what can be left to the appellate level should be left to the appellate level? Quite the opposite is true. District judges, who issue their decrees in splendid isolation, can be multiplied ad infinitum. Courts of appeals cannot be staffed with too many judges without destroying their ability to maintain, through en banc rehearings, a predictable law of the circuit. In any event, the district court, being intimately familiar with the facts, is in a better position to rule initially upon such questions as whether the objections to the settlement were procedurally deficient, late filed, or simply inapposite to the case. If it denies interventions on such grounds, and if the denials are not appealed, the court of appeals will be spared the trouble of considering those objections altogether. And even when the denials are appealed, the court of appeals will have the benefit of the district court's opinion on these often fact-bound questions. (Typically, the only occasion the district court would have had to pass on these questions is in the course of considering the motion to intervene; when considering whether to approve the class settlement, district courts typically do not treat objections individually even on substance, let alone form. E. g., id., at 973-974.) Finally, it is worth observing that the Court's assertions regarding the merits of allowing objectors to appeal a class settlement without intervening apply with equal force to the objectors who sought to appeal

5 The Court assures us that these appeals will be "few" because, like the objections on which they are based, they are "irrational." Ante, at 13. To say that the substance of an objection (and of the corresponding appeal) is irrational is not to say that it is irrational to make the objection and file the appeal. See Shaw, 91 F. Supp. 2d, at 973-974, and n. 18 (noting " 'canned' objections filed by professional objectors who seek out class actions to simply extract a fee by lodging generic, unhelpful protests"). The Court cites nothing to support its sunny surmise that the appeals will be few.

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