There were Farnsworth and Williston on contracts, McCormick and Sutherland on damages–treatises every law student is bound to encounter at some point. And although Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justice Stephen Breyer agreed on how to analyze whether emotional distress damages are available under two major federal laws, they disagreed on the answer those treatises give.

Roberts’ view prevailed Thursday in the court’s 6-3 ruling rejecting emotional distress damages under the Rehabilitation Act and the Affordable Care Act in Cummings v. Premier Rehab Keller. Breyer, joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, wrote the dissenting opinion, including a special nod to the justice for whom he clerked in 1964: Arthur Goldberg.

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