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

November 2013 Archives

Filibuster is Gone, But Will Blue Slips Halt 11th Circuit Nominations?

Earlier this month, Congress did the unthinkable: they invoked the so-called "nuclear option" and removed the filibuster option for blocking the president's nominees from being brought to a vote, with the exception of Supreme Court nominations.

Though much attention (rightfully) has been paid to the D.C. Circuit, with its three vacancies, and its importance in national matters, we're more concerned with the local impact. Will the removal of the filibuster allow thirteen Eleventh Circuit vacancies (four of which are on the circuit court of appeals itself) to be filled in a timely manner, or will the oft-forgotten Blue Slips tactic rise up in its place?

Senior Judge Fay, Newcomer Martin, Get Heated in Sentencing Case

Rarely do you see judges use harsh language towards each other in opinions. You'll see phrases like "respectfully dissent," along with a lot of deferential disagreement, but rarely will you see descriptors like, "astonishing," "outrageous," and "totally unfounded" tossed back-and-forth to describe each other's conclusions.

But that's exactly what we have here, in an otherwise unremarkable sentencing case involving an undocumented immigrant who made an illegal reentry after being deported for a domestic violence conviction. Senior Judge Peter Fay and Obama-appointee Judge Beverly Martin exchanged verbal jabs after Judge Martin, in dissent, accused the circuit court of only deferring to state courts' interpretations of law when it favored stiffer sentences.

Muckraking Blogger Jailed for Refusing to Take Down Blog Posts

Roger Shuler, the man behind the Legal Schnauzer blog which broke the rumors about Eleventh Circuit Judge William Pryor's alleged gay porn past, has been sitting in a jail cell for the past few weeks for violating a court order, one which many are arguing is an unconstitutional restraint on speech.

Shuler wrote a series of posts about an alleged affair between a local Republican political figure Robert Riley Jr. (the son of former two-term Alabama Gov. Bob Riley) and a lobbyist, Liberty Duke. The pair brought a libel suit against Shuler, and a local court ordered him to remove the offending posts from his website. He refused, and is now in jail on contempt charges.

Updates: Rosenbaum Nomination Official; Interns Denied Cert

It's official! Well, Judge Robin Rosenbaum's Eleventh Circuit nomination is, at least. If past nominations are any indication, confirmation is no sure thing. That being said, Rosenbaum certainly seems like a savvy nomination by President Barack Obama.

And in unsurprising news, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in an unpublished case that we covered earlier, which means unpaid interns will have to wait a little longer for their day in front of the nation's high court.

Can't Sue, Despite Being Arrested for Sharing a Name With a Fugitive

Ludicrosity. Sheer and utter ludicrosity.

Amanda Cruz fiddled with her seatbelt at a stoplight, placing the shoulder strap behind her body, and neglecting to return it before taking off. Trooper Andy Page, ever worrisome about drivers' safety, pulled her over for the seatbelt violation, and when he ran her information through the system, a warrant for Amanda Cruz appeared.

Alleged Criminal Cruz has tattoos, light red hair, is 5'1" and was born on November 18, 1979. Cruising Cruz, showed the officer her arms and legs to prove that she had no tattoos. She also has dark brown hair, is 4'8", and as noted on her driver's license, was born on February 7, 1978.

This is not the same person! (Duh.)

Yep, Can't Arrest Someone For Saying 'Damn' and 'Hell'

On September 9, 2010, Monique Wilkerson was at a bar enjoying a meal and the first football game of the year, presumably the season-opening game between the then-defending-champion New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings, a rematch of the previous year's NFC title game. After hearing multiple pages from the DJ about her vehicle, which was legally parked, she went outside to investigate.

Her car was legally parked. Other cars weren't. But an off-duty police officer, Thedious Seymour, who was working security, told her that her car was about to be towed. He also explained that it would be easier to interrupt her meal, and have her move her legally-parked car, than to have all of the fools with illegally-parked cars move theirs.