Lest you have any doubt about how far the "plausibility standard" of Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), will reach, witness what the majority said yesterday on that score in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, No. 07-1015, slip op. at 20 (U.S. May 18, 2009):
Respondent . . . says that our decision in Twombly should be limited to pleadings made in the context of an antitrust dispute. . . . This argument is not supported by Twombly and is incompatible with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Though Twombly determined the sufficiency of a complaint sounding in antitrust, the decision was based on our interpretation and application of Rule 8. 550 U.S. at 554. That Rule in turn governs the pleading standard "in all civil actions and proceedings in the United States district courts." Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 1. Our decision in Twombly expounded the pleading standard for "all civil actions," ibid., and it applies to antitrust and discrimination suits alike. See 550 U.S. at 555- 556 and n. 6.
Blawgletter notes that the author of Twombly, Justice David Souter, wrote the main dissent in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, observing that the "majority . . . misapplies the pleading standard under" Twombly by "looking at the relevant assertions in isolation" and by treating non-conclusory allegations as conclusory. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, slip op. at 12 & 13 (Souter, J., dissenting).