U.S. Fifth Circuit - The FindLaw 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

August 2015 Archives

3D printers promise to allow anyone to create complex objects at home. For a few hundred dollars, you can pick up a consumer-grade 3D printer and start printing out toys, architectural models, or firearms. Yep, it's pretty easy for anyone with a 3D printer to print out a gun in their living room -- guns that are powerful, unregulated, and even undetectable.

Aware of the risks posed by widespread hobbyist arms manufacturing, the State Department has ordered gun and tech enthusiasts to stop disturbing plans for 3D-printed guns online. One of those enthusiasts, gun activist and founder of Defense Distributed, Cody Wilson is challenging that order and should see his case in the Fifth Circuit soon.

Texas's voter ID law has a "discriminatory effect" in violation of the Voting Rights Act, the Fifth Circuit ruled today. The law required voters to produce specific types of photo identification in order to vote. Concealed gun licenses were allowed; student IDs were not.

Opponents of the law argued that it would have little effect on preventing voter fraud while resulting in the disenfranchisement of Hispanic and African American voters. The Fifth Circuit agreed, in part, but refused to invalidate the law outright. The decision comes one day before the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.