U.S. Eleventh Circuit - The FindLaw 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

December 2012 Archives

Court opinions can be dry, making reading through a stack of them an arduous task. That’s why we’re thankful for judges like Ed Carnes who constantly spice up their opinions with inspired, sometimes bizarre, quotes and references.

This year, our favorite Eleventh Circuit jurist quoted Bob Dylan, added a new line to a Jim Croce song, and made a particularly apt reference to turducken. To wit: Judge Carnes’ top three quotes of 2012.

Pascal and Pretext: Court Reinstates Age Discrimination Claim

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals is sending us into the new year with Pascal quotes and contradictions.

This week, the appellate court concluded that an employer’s contradictory statements were enough to support a pretext argument. Judge Adalberto Jordan wrote, “It may be that a ‘contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the lack of contradiction a sign of truth’ … But under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, a contradiction of the employer’s proffered reason for the termination of an employee is sometimes enough, when combined with other evidence, to allow a jury to find that the firing was the result of unlawful discrimination.”

25 Day Delay Is Okay in Search Warrant Challenge

How long can the government hang on to a computer without a warrant? Is a 25-day delay in submitting an application for a search warrant an unreasonable seizure under the Fourth Amendment?

David Laist pleaded guilty conditionally to possession and receipt of child pornography, but later appealed the district court's denial of his motion to suppress all evidence retrieved from his personal computer and five external hard drives.

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that district court's denial, finding that the totality of the circumstances indicates that the government acted reasonably in obtaining the search warrant.

Eleventh Circuit Sides with USDA in Hemingway Cat Fight

Ernest Hemingway lived at 907 Whitehead Street in Key West, Florida, from 1931 to 1938. During that time, a friend gave him a polydactyl cat named Snowball. Since then, Snowball's polydactyl progeny have thrived and populated the property.

Hemingway's estate sold the property in 1961. Though the Hemingway cats were not explicitly mentioned in the purchase and sale agreement, it seems that they came with the place. For almost 50 years, visitors have toured the property — now known as Hemingway House and Museum — and marveled at the cats.

Is Alabama's Property Tax System Racist?

Alabama has the lowest property tax revenues in the country. That's because the Alabama Constitution, drafted in 1901, requires voters to approve tax increases, caps tax millage rates, and allows farm and timberland to be taxed below market value, The Huntsville Times reports. Since the state funds education primarily through sales and income taxes, schools are underfunded.

But is the tax system racist?

Last year, District Judge Lynwood Smith ruled in an 854-page opinion that Alabama's history of discrimination had resulted in underfunded schools, but the system was based on economic interests, not racist intent, Alabama.com reports.

Thursday, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments to decide if it agrees.