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Time Limits and Jurisdiction

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The US Supreme Court issued three opinions today, all in civil cases.  Henderson v. Shinseki is a veteran benefit case involving the question of when a filing deadline will be considered jurisdictional, an issue that comes up in criminal appeals and habeas cases.

Because the consequences that attach to the jurisdictional label may be so drastic, we have tried in recent cases to bring some discipline to the use of this term. We have urged that a rule should not be referred to as jurisdictional unless it governs a court's adjudicatory capacity, that is, its subject-matter or personal jurisdiction. Reed Elsevier, supra, at ___ (slip op., at 6); Kontrick, supra, at 455. Other rules, even if important and mandatory, we have said, should not be given the jurisdictional brand. See Union Pacific, 558 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 12).

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