Held: Laches cannot be invoked as a defense against a claim for dam- ages brought within §286’s 6-year limitations period. Pp. 3–16.
(a) Petrella’s holding rested on both separation-of-powers principles and the traditional role of laches in equity. A statute of limitations reflects a congressional decision that timeliness is better judged by a hard and fast rule instead of a case-specific judicial determination. Applying laches within a limitations period specified by Congress would give judges a “legislation-overriding” role that exceeds the Ju- diciary’s power. 572 U. S., at ___. Moreover, applying laches within a limitations period would clash with the gap-filling purpose for which the defense developed in the equity courts. Pp. 3–5.