In the potentially landmark decision, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, the Supreme Court, on June 20, 2011, held that claims for monetary relief cannot be certified under Rule 23(b)(2) where “the monetary relief is not incidental to the injunctive or declaratory relief.” In Dukes, the district court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals approved the certification of a Rule 23(b)(2) class of female employees of Wal-Mart who sought injunctive and declaratory relief and backpay under Title VII . The Court analyzed the history and structure of Rule 23(b) and concluded that sub-part (b)(2) “does not authorize class certification when each class member would be entitled to an individualized award of monetary damages.” It added that Wal-Mart was “entitled to litigate its statutory defenses to individual claims” for backpay and “the necessity of that litigation will prevent backpay from being ‘incidental’ to the class-wide injunction.” The Court expressly rejected the argument that monetary claims were proper in a (b)(2) class as long as they do not “predominate” over the injunctive and declaratory relief, explaining that the protections of Rule 23(b)(3) cannot be nullified “whenever a plaintiff class, at its option, combines its monetary claims with a request – even a ‘predominating request’ – for an injunction.” Citing the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Allison v. Citgo Petroleum Corp., the Court left open the question of whether monetary claims that are “incidental” to the injunctive relief could ever be certified under (b)(2), finding that in this case the damages clearly were not incidental.